2021
Language:
English

The platformness of digital identity platforms

Digital identity platforms allow the construction of complements on a centralised core, enabling user identification for private and public services. While presenting all traits characteristic of innovation platforms, digital identity platforms are curiously understudied in the Information Systems literature, largely as a result of a limited focus on the properties that underscore their nature as platforms, or “platformness”. In this paper we first present a taxonomy of the main perspectives from which digital identity platforms have been studied in the multidisciplinary literature around them. We then illustrate the properties underscoring their platformness, illuminating the construction of complements on such platforms’ core and its implications for two outcomes – exclusion and undue surveillance of vulnerable groups – that the literature has widely discussed. We conclude with a reflection on the theoretical implications of adopting a platform perspective in the study of digital identity systems.