Standardising Individuality

One of the things all user-centric identity businesses are struggling with is the issue of how to redesign the terms of ...

May 24, 2006

One of the things all user-centric identity businesses are struggling with is the issue of how to redesign the terms of personal data storage and usage.

Instead of Amex, or Dixons setting the terms of what it does with your data, you should have the right to set those terms on a transaction, relationship and role-specific basis.

But if you have to invent new rules for every transaction, the world is going to get very complicated. If systems get tailored to national markets, or if personal identity managament services invent their own proprietory categories, complexity will explode and trust and social capital will swiftly collapse.

Peter Saint Andre (stpeter) one small voice suggests an elegant 5-part classification system, which I think could be a good start-point for thinking about this.

What is clear, though, beyond these data sharing protocols, is that a similar multi-level system is required to determine the strength of identity authentication.
How sure of identity do you need to be? And how long can users remain anonymous?

And finally, it is critical that such a system works ‘amphibiously’ as stpeter would put it – both online and offine.

I have argued elswhere that we need a new Identity Contract between individuals, their agents and the institutions with which they interact…

Common identity protocols, which data subjects (i.e. individuals!) drive rather than corporates are a critical component of a higher trust system.

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