Identity 2.0

Identity in digital media, as discussed by Dick Hardt and Kim Cameron.

Dick Hardt proposes in his OSCON 2005 Keynote an identification system for the virtual world modelled after reality: Some authorities issue ID-certificates to the user and she can use these IDs independently for a variety (best: all) of services (e.g. shopping). The service doesn’t have to ensure the integrity of the user by contacting some 3rd party authentification authority with every login (as it is now) and the user has one ID for everything (simple). That’s (very roughly) what he tries to sell with sxip.

stylistic note:
The presentation style is remarkable (reportedly inspired by Lawrence Lessig): It’s a permanent bombardment with new slides and words and images breaking any rule of good style and communication one had to learn in school. Worth a view!

Kim Cameron from Microsoft has a White Paper on his blog where he points out that

[you can never] know who and what you are connecting to

but –tricky enough– you have to reveal a bunch of private data, nevertheless, to be allowed to enter e.g. a shop. And each service requires its own procedure while we never know how good the will protect my privacy.
He proposes a

unifying identity metasystem

that will communicate as an interface to two sides like device drivers on computers, where the application talks to the driver instead of the device that might be constructed different by each manufacturer.
Where, when and to what extent to expose your identity is a critical issue, both for privacy and acceptance in consequence. So Cameron claims several Laws as necessary:
User Control and Consent (#1)
Directed Identity (#4) that requires that identification issues are negotiated between the necessary parties only and not in an omnidirectional way such as in Bluetooth and RFID (in passports!). This has a nice link to the privacy issues discussed in the social button projekt .

Maybe, especially with trading and shopping, we are still stuck in a dilemma: If we want to gain security, we have to trade in privacy. Currently, the situation is worst, as Cameron claims correctly, but his system of Identities still has to declare its position towards the more or less anarchic and self organizing structures of the web, that many might consider as its unique feature.

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