Privacy-by-design digital identity technologies for society and data ecosystems

We believe that a separation of data powers is crucial to protect our digital identities and personal information. The foundational building blocks should be open source, governed collectively by stakeholders and verified by multiple distributed mechanisms. This is what we are building together with partners in data ecosystems, industries, society and government.


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Privacy by Design


Privacy by design aims at building privacy and data protection up front, into the design specifications and architecture of information and communication systems and technologies, in order to facilitate compliance with privacy and data protection principles (*).

Separation of Powers


Traditionally, the separation and balance between powers has been the central principle of government. Known as the 'trias politica', this principle has existed for 2500 years, the necessary condition for trust within societies. Similarly we demand more control over our private data. Open Signum provides open source building blocks and models to apply the Trias to data.

Digital Identity


We are not an identity provider. We do work closely with actual identity providers for people, processes and products. Open Signum's technology acts as a privacy-by-design "blind gateway", and also can act as a privacy-by-design custodian, eg on transactions between verified attestations.

Decentralized Governance


Distributed storage of data and decentralized governance models provide trust. Governance is controlled by a versatile and fine grained rights model with a multilayered structure of custodians that control different aspects of current and future Open Signum protocols, code and potential also networks.

Attestation Network


Granular attestation levels per record will verify the correctness of the information stored on a ledger. These also are aimed at correctly accounting for attribution. Among others we continue to work on enhanced decentralized incentive mechanisms for innovation ecosystems.

(*) Source:
The privacy by design framework was developed by Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, following her joint work with the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Dutch DPA) and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) in 1995.


Student Identity Gateway

The digitization of society has provided a huge range of information, products and services. So much that our basic rights such as privacy are at stake and especially when it comes to vulnerable groups. Legislators have tackled this through new regulations at both European (GDPR) and national (AVG) levels. After all the administrative preparations related to these new rules, it is now time to implement these rules in a targeted way with practical solutions, starting by protecting the privacy of school children.


There is currently no real-time privacy-by-design mechanism in the Netherlands connecting all schools and libraries.


The solution is a digital encrypted student identity attestation protocol that allows a student to prove their eligibility to use library services in a safe and reliable manner.


This solution contributes to the objectives of the PICA Foundation by promoting better cooperation between libraries and education and by strengthening the role of the library in the current and future information chain. Students can take all necessary information without privacy sensitive information about them being recorded in systems at the library or traceable to them.



Currently we are creating the Open Signum Foundation as a Dutch non-profit, while we also are selecting and inviting members to join the Supervisory and Advisory Board. For these latter positions we seek highly qualified domain experts and representatives from stakeholder organizations in specific sectors and industries.

Founding Team

Our core collective consists of a founding team, trusted liaisons and advisors. Combined we have a unique combined skill set, with on average 20 years of experience in (open) software development, (open) industry partnerships, internet standards, public libraries, education, music publishing, public-private partnerships, government, (political) law and innovation policies. Our technological expertise focuses on distributed computing & ledger technologies, data analytics and artificial intelligence.