Seven Deadly Sins of Digital Customer Relationships

Even as businesses everywhere race to collect more and more customer data, the relationship between brand and customer has become distant. Customer service has been replaced by faceless chatbots, privacy seems like a thing of the past, and our interactions feel disconnected across a growing number of touch-points and systems.

At the center of this divide are seven common but dangerous behaviors — the seven deadly sins of digital customer relationships. This essay explores each of these behaviors and discusses how self-sovereign identity can present an opportunity for businesses to not only offer better customer experiences but to rethink how they build trusted digital relationships from the ground up.

Jamie SmithBy Jamie Smith, Evernym
March 2021

7 Deadly Sins of Digital Customer Relationships


In today’s big data arms race, customer relationships have taken a backseat to customer data. Self-sovereign identity (SSI) offers a much-needed correction.


1. Lust

How organizations can lessen their reliance on customer data collection with genuine, direct, and private digital relationships rooted in decentralized identifiers (DIDs).

2. Sloth

What it means to challenge the status quo and start building ‘outside-in,’ with customer feedback sourced from new secure, private, and direct customer channels.


3. Wrath

The rights we sign away to identity providers, and what happens when the individual, not a third-party identity provider like Facebook or Google is given personal agency.


4. Gluttony

How the ‘right data diet‘ and verifiable credentials can result in fewer wasted resources, higher quality insights, and more trusted customer relationships.


5. Greed

How organizations can use zero-knowledge proofs and data minimization to move away from their greediness for customer data, while still meeting KYC compliance.


6. Pride

How open ecosystems and true data portability can move us beyond proprietary systems once and for all, to the benefit of organizations and individuals alike.


7. Envy

How a shift from sourcing data through third-parties to sourcing directly from the customer with new SSI data strategies can lead to less overhead and reduced liability.

7 Deadly Sins of Digital Customer Relationships


A summary of the seven deadly sins, and self-sovereign identity’s lasting legacy in breathing life and trust back into our digital economies, and into our digital lives.

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