As digital marketers, we spend most of our time immersed in the online world. We’re so accustomed to doing all things digital that we don’t think of the ramifications if our online identity isn’t secure. At least I didn’t think about it until very recently when I met Wes Kussmaul, the founder of a community called Osmio.

The City of Osmio, chartered on March 7, 2005 at the Geneva headquarters of the International Telecommunication Union, a UN agency, provides duly constituted public authority for the signing of PKI identity certificates, PKI professional licenses, PKI occupancy permits for digital buildings, and other certificates. Governance of the City of Osmio is open and participatory by those who have its identity certificates.

Based on the fact that centralization of the internet makes people nervous, The City of Osmio presents a new way to understand the internet and offers solutions that you can implement today.

The site is full of great videos to help you understand The City of Osmio, privacy, authenticity and accountability. But here are a few takeaways based on questions I’ve heard from fellow digital marketers.

What Are Identity Certificates?

Users should be able to control the information about themselves as well as the system that manages that information. The City of Osmio answers the desire and need for users to control their identities with identity certificates.

With identity certificates, websites and servers are signed by the private key of individuals or PKI.

Why is Authenticity Such a Big Deal?

Authenticity is rooted in the ancient idea that people need to be who they claim to be.

In today’s world of 7 billion internet users, authenticity is dying. The current internet structure allows users to be inauthentic and commit cybercrimes because they’re not held accountable.

The City of Osmio’s philosophy dictates that internet users must be authentic and thus held accountable for what they do online. It simply aims to tie digital identities to real people. While it may sound simple, authenticity is controlled under the surface by governance, technology and PKI.

Will Accountability Take Away My Privacy?

Did you know that you can actually assert your identity without disclosing your identity? Unless a court order calls for you to disclose your identity on the internet, everything remains private.

Your Osmio-issued Utility certificate works like a car’s license plate where anyone can see it which makes you accountable for your roadway behavior or your internet behavior. Unless a third party produces a court order, no one can know your identity on a roadway or in this case, the internet.

How Can I Implement Privacy Practices?

To implement online privacy and best practices, the best place to start is by joining The City of Osmio. This will allow you to be part of a governance and not rely on a third party to dictate how your information is shared and utilized.

Final Thoughts

Osmio is a certification authority and lets you assert your identity without disclosing your identity which instigates a big change aimed at solving the conundrum about responsible online practices. You can join the Osmio community and be on the ground floor of learning and decision making when it comes to internet privacy. That way, you can put all of the information I threw at you in this blog post to use!

What steps do you take to ensure internet privacy? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

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