Active Identity

Trust And Reputation On The Internet

Active Identity

The Internet makes it possible to rethink the way we handle money, one of the oldest known information systems. For example, online services like person-to-person lending allow people to directly invest their money in strangers without an intermediary. However, this requires new forms of security and trust in both technology and people.

This project explores how an actively curated identity representation could be used to communicate the trustworthiness of people, giving them more control over their online identity while guarding their privacy.


The main thesis paper describes the background and reasoning behind this project.

Supplemental texts were used at the exhibition alongside the interactive visualization.

Active Identity overview poster

An overview poster of the research landscape. Download (PDF).


This is the Master's thesis of Peter Gassner in the Field of Excellence Interaction at the Zurich University of the Arts. The thesis was completed in June 2010.


This thesis has been mentored by Prof. Dr. Gerhard M. Buurman. He established the Interaction Design course at the ZHdK in 2000 and co-founded the Swiss Design Institute for Finance and Banking in 2007, an interuniversity competence center for design.