Technological development has undeniably pervaded every aspect of our lives, and the ways in which we now use our identity related information has not escaped the impact of this change. We are increasingly called upon to adopt new technology, usually more through obligation than choice, to function in everyday society, and with this new era of supposed convenience has come new risks and challenges. In this chapter we examine the roots of identity management and the systems we use to support this activity, ways in which we can strive to keep our digital information secure such as Public Key encryption and digital signatures and the evolving yet somewhat controversial role of biometrics in identification and authentication.
With an eye on the ever changing landscape of identity related technologies, we further explore emerging technologies which seem likely to impact on us in the near to mid-term future. These include RFID which has more recently come to the fore of the public consciousness, Ambient Intelligence environments which offer convenience at the potential cost of privacy and human implants which surprisingly have already been developed in a medical context and look set to be the next major step in our ever burgeoning relationship with technology.