IIW is NOT an advocacy group – sigh “the media”

Facebook’s Online Identity War quotes me and labels IIW an advocacy group. IT IS AN INDUSTRY FORUM. Douglas MacMillan.

Sorry but I am still learning “how” to talk to reporters. They don’t like to quote me as “the identity woman” and link to my blog.

I “do” run the Identity Workshop with Phil and Doc but that doesn’t make it an “advocacy group”

Identity Commons & IIW have a purpose and principles believing in user/centric identity. The power of individuals to manage and control their own identities online. We don’t “advocate” for them – we create a convening space for people who want to work on this ideal.

Facebook does on some level “agree” with the idea of user-centric identity – Luke Shepard has participated in the community for quite a while & they hired David Recordon. They sponsor IIW.

I am clear that the opening up of previously controlled information with no warning “jives” with my understanding of user-centric control. It was more from my own point of view I was commenting. That is with my “identity woman” hat on… and the values I carry from Planetwork and the ASN… but the press hates that. Uggg. Chris Messina gets to be an “open web advocate”… that is what I do to but just about identity “open Identity advocate” (mmm…) but then that sounds like “just” OpenID and it isn’t just about that one particular protocol. sigh.

I am still wondering – How does one “belong” and have “titles” in a way the media can GROK when one does not have a formal position in a formal organization.

sigh – identity issues.

Demand for Web 2.0 suicides increasing

I went to the suidicemachine and got this message

We apologize to all our users for the breakdown of our service! Within the last hours the huge demand for 2.0 suicides completely overblew our bandwidth resources!

We are currently considering relocating to another serverfarm. Please consider suicide at a later moment and accept our apologies!

You can still try to catch a free slot, but chances are quiet low at the moment!

More from their site….

Faster, Safer, Smarter, Better Tired of your Social Network?

Liberate your newbie friends with a Web2.0 suicide! This machine lets you delete all your energy sucking social-networking profiles, kill your fake virtual friends, and completely do away with your Web2.0 alterego. The machine is just a metaphor for the website which moddr_ is hosting; the belly of the beast where the web2.0 suicide scripts are maintained. Our services currently runs with facebook.com, myspace.com and LinkedIn.com! Commit NOW!

You can even see video’s about what happens as one uses the machine.

ok the FAQ’s get eve better…..

I always get the message “Sorry, Machine is currently busy with killing someone else?”. What does this mean?
Our server can only handle a certain amount of suicide scripts running at the same time. Please consider your suicide attempt at a later moment! We are very sorry for the inconvenience and working on expanding our resources.

If I kill my online friends, does it mean they’re also dead in real life?
No!   

What do I need to commit suicide with the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine?
A standard webbrowser with Adobe flashplugin and javascript enabled. So, it runs on Windows, Linux and Mac with most of browsers available.   

I can’t see my friends being killed, what happened?
Probably your flash-plugin is older than version 10? But yikes – you cannot stop the process anymore! Once you entered the login details, the machine is running the suicide script.   

If I start killing my 2.0-self, can I stop the process?
No!   

If I start killing my 2.0-self, can YOU stop the process?
No!   

What shall I do after I’ve killed myself with the web2.0 suicide machine?
Try calling some friends, talk a walk in a park or buy a bottle of wine and start enjoying your real life again. Some Social Suiciders reported that their life has improved by an approximate average of 25%. Don’t worry, if you feel empty right after you committed suicide. This is a normal reaction which will slowly fade away within the first 24-72 hours.

Do you store any data on your webserver, like password of the user?
We don’t store your password on our server! Seriously, it goes directly into /dev/null, which is equal to nirvana! We only save your profile picture, your name and your last words! Will the 2.0 suicide machine be available for other networks such as twitter and plaxo? We are currently working on improving our products!. Currently we are working on Flickr and Hyves, but of course we are eagerly thinking of ways to get rid of our “Google Lifes”.   

How does it work technically?
The machine consists of a tweaked Linux server running apache2 with python module. Selenium RC Control is used to automatically launch and kill browser sessions. This all driven by a single python/cgi script with some additional self-written libraries. ?Each user can watch her suicide action in real-time via a VNC remote desktop session, displayed on our website via an flash applet rendered live into the client’s webbrowser. We are also running some customized bash scripts plus MySQL in the background for logging and debugging, jquery for the website and a modified version of the great FlashlightVNC application built in Flex. Web2.0 Suicide Machine consists of roughly 1800 lines of self-written code.   

Why do we think the web2.0 suicide machine is not unethical?
Everyone should have the right to disconnect. Seamless connectivity and rich social experience offered by web2.0 companies are the very antithesis of human freedom. Users are entraped in a high resolution panoptic prison without walls, accessible from anywhere in the world. We do have an healthy amount of paranoia to think that everyone should have the right to quit her 2.0-ified life by the help of automatized machines. Facebook and Co. are going to hold all your informations and pictures on their servers forever! We still hope that by removing your contact details and friend connections your data is being cached out from their servers. This can happen after days, weeks, months or even years. Just deactivating the account is thus not enough! [emphasis mine]

How much does it cost to kill myself?
Usage of Web 2.0 Suicide machine is for free.   

Can I build my own suicide machine?
Theoretically yes! You’ll need a Linux WebServer (apache2) with perl and python modules (php should be installed as well). Further, you’ll need VNC-server and Java packages by Sun to launch selenium-remote applets. If you feel like contributing or setting up your own machine, please get in contact with us via email.

Facebook Privacy Changes leave us “Socially Nude”

Read Write Web published a guest post by me about how the changes at facebook last week leave us Socially Nude.

Facebook’s Privacy Move Violates Contract With Users

Your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, Friends List, and all the pages you subscribe to are now publicly available information on Facebook. This means everyone on the web can see it; it is searchable.

This represents just the latest instance of Facebook violating the contract it holds with its users. This is no small matter, either. Lots of people will have very real and valid objections to this arbitrary change to what’s public and what’s private on Facebook.

….an articulation of the nature of the social contract sites with social features have with users….

I wonder how many more times they will get strip us down, leaving our familiar social clothes and underware on the floor, and leaving us socially nude.

I think it is unethical and I agree with the concern that Jason Calacanis raises about how this will affect other Internet companies. “Facebook’s reckless behavior is… simultaneously making users distrust the Internet and bringing the attention of regulators.” This change will affect all of us working on building the new techno-social architecture of our society via the web.

She’s Geeky – January 29-31

SGLogo

She’s Geeky: Connecting Women in Tech
Returning to the Bay Area January 29, 30 & 31, 2010
@ the Computer History Museum in Mountain View
She’s Geeky is just 7 weeks away!   Early Bird Tickets are available for just 2 more weeks until December 20th.
http://shesgeekybayarea3.eventbrite.com/
www.shesgeeky.com
This event is for:
Women Working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic Fields.
Women into their gadgets and SciFi Fan’s.
Women students of the sciences, those training to be engineers, aspiring mathematicians and technology professions.
Women who are kernel hackers and all those who aspire to deepen their geekiness by learning how to code the php on their blogs.
Daughters, Nieces and mentees of all of the above
Women who are retired used to work in tech related fields.
What happens?
All the women who attend are invited to create the agenda live the day of the event.
Women can present/share about their area of professional expertise.
Women learn from one another.
Women discuss critical issues affecting them in the digital age.
Women talk about work place and community issues they face.
Women are inspired to follow their passion and believe in their own abilities.
Women find connections and support for their work and vision.
About The Format
She’s Geeky is an unConference (http://www.unconference.net/) where the agenda is created by all participants live the day the event happens.  This format supports peer to peer learning, dialogue about the issues that are top of mind and networking.  In this women’s only environment attendees have the opportunity to see their contribution to their field in a new light and gain confidence to step forward in their lives and careers.
Click here (http://shesgeeky.org/sg/2009/11/twitter-highlights-from-shes-geeky-dc/) for a dip into the Twitter Stream from the November 13 & 14, 2009, sold out, Washington, DC She’s Geeky Event to get a sense of the experience from those who attended!  Or to read answers to the end of day question: ‘As a result of today…’ click here. (http://www.shesgeeky.org/wiki/Sg2009dc:Results)
About She’s Geeky
She’s Geeky convenes to inspire women for the future, providing a gathering space to create enduring communities that foster collaboration and innovation, while promoting initiative and leadership among women tech professionals. Beginning with its resoundingly successful 2007 unConference in Silicon Valley, She’s Geeky attracts women from a broad spectrum of technological specialties, diverse social groups, generations, and levels of expertise. The inclusive quality of She’s Geeky events promotes discussion, furthers cooperation, and encourages learning. She’s Geeky advances systemic change in tech culture by disseminating effective practices to address the challenges of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
She’s Geeky isn’t a “women in tech group” and we don’t have chapters around the country. We are an unConference event that works to connect and promote existing tech groups. Currently  we work with DevChix, LinuxChix, Women 2.0, Girls in Tech, Women Who Tech, Digital Sistas, Girl Geek Dinners, Gaming Angels, the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology.

She’s Geeky: THE UNCONFERENCE Connecting Women in Tech is  returning to the Bay Area January 29, 30 & 31, 2010  @ the Computer History Museum in Mountain View

Early Bird Tickets are available until Friday December 20th.

This event is for:

  • Women Working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic Fields.
  • Women into their gadgets and SciFi Fan’s.
  • Women students of the sciences, those training to be engineers, aspiring mathematicians and technology professions.
  • Women who are kernel hackers and all those who aspire to deepen their geekiness by learning how to code the php on their blogs.
  • Daughters, Nieces and mentees of all of the above
  • Women who are retired used to work in tech related fields.

What happens?

  • All the women who attend are invited to create the agenda live the day of the event.
  • Women can present/share about their area of professional expertise.
  • Women learn from one another.
  • Women discuss critical issues affecting them in the digital age.
  • Women talk about work place and community issues they face.
  • Women are inspired to follow their passion and believe in their own abilities.
  • Women find connections and support for their work and vision.

About The Format:

She’s Geeky is an unConference where the agenda is created by all participants live the day the event happens.  This format supports peer to peer learning, dialogue about the issues that are top of mind and networking.  In this women’s only environment attendees have the opportunity to see their contribution to their field in a new light and gain confidence to step forward in their lives and careers.  You can see proposed topics on our wiki.

See a dip into the Twitter Stream from the November 13 & 14, 2009, sold out, Washington, DC  event to get a sense of the experience from those who attended!  Or to read answers to the end of day question: ‘As a result of today…’ click here.

About She’s Geeky:

She’s Geeky convenes to inspire women for the future, providing a gathering space to create enduring communities that foster collaboration and innovation, while promoting initiative and leadership among women tech professionals. Beginning with its resoundingly successful 2007 unConference in Silicon Valley, She’s Geeky attracts women from a broad spectrum of technological specialties, diverse social groups, generations, and levels of expertise. The inclusive quality of She’s Geeky events promotes discussion, furthers cooperation, and encourages learning. She’s Geeky advances systemic change in tech culture by disseminating effective practices to address the challenges of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

If you are a guy please let your women colleagues know about the event. The event is for women only – we have thought a lot about this choice and why we made it – it is decidedly not about be being “anti-male” rather much of it is focused on creating a safe space for women who are geeky who have been shy to express themselves. If this makes you feel uncomfortable you can read more about this nuance and what we are about here.

We have sponsorships available at the community level, individuals and small companies and corporate levels.

We have some cool banners up on our website too.

You can find us on twitter @shesgeeky

You can contact us – info@shesgeeky.org

IIW9 Highlights – IIW10 Reg Open

I am really pleased to share that the notes for IIW9 are available in PDF form now. All sessions also have a wiki page too.

Heidi Nobantu Saul did an amazing job collecting notes and we managed to get all session notes except a very few on the last day.

Highlights include:

The 10th Internet Identity Workshop is May 18-20.
Registration is Open Now and Extra Early Bird Rates are in effect until January 31.

What are identifiers in the digital context?

Jean Russell and I continued our conversation on What are Identifiers this time focusing on the digital context.

We cover what user-names are, how they are not portable, what it means to have a portable identifier – and talk about the open standard that enables portability – OpenID.

It is up on the Reputation Currents Blog.

Fire Fox and Identity in the Browser

ReadWriteWeb reports this week:

Decrying redirects and iframes, Raskin tells of a brave new world where an in-browser button that defies navigational difficulties allows for something closer to true identity portability than we’ve seen yet:Identity will be one of the defining themes in the next five years of the Web. Nearly every site has a concept of a user account, registration, and identity. Searching for “sign in” on Google yields over 1.8 billion hits. And yet, the browser does nothing to make this experience better save for some basic auto form filling. The browser leaves websites to re-implement identity management, and forces users to learn a new scheme for every site… Your identity is too important to be owned by any one company. Your friends are too important to be owned by any one company.

Finally! They said it!

Comments in reaction to the ReadWriteWeb post highlight Information Cards & CardSpace are not mentioned – I point out in my comment that the work is all connected ant pointed to the IIW conversations about Active Clients attended by all.

Aza open their post with this paragraph:

Identity will be one of the defining themes in the next five years of the Web. Nearly every site has a concept of a user account, registration, and identity. Searching for “sign in” on Google yields over 1.8 billion hits. And yet, the browser does nothing to make this experience better save for some basic auto form filling. The browser leaves websites to re-implement identity management, and forces users to learn a new scheme for every site.

They make these key points following the images they have (you should check the images out)

• Identity is part of where you are, and what you are looking at (Amazon looks different depending on if you are signed in or not). That’s why we put it in the URL Bar.

• For most sites, you’ll probably only have one identity, so login will be a single click or automatic.
• Putting verbs into the navigation bar isn’t new. See Taskfox.
• To increase visibility, webpages should be able to make a Javascript call that opens the login/signup bubble.
• For webpages that want to own the login-process, the account creation simply acts as the ultimate form-fill. For those interested in the evolution of the idea, you can see an early mockup with comments as well as Alex Faaborg’s similiar mockups.

They also make this point…

Chris Messina and others has been advocating for a model which follows the Facebook Connect lead: a single verb, to connect. Once connected, you decide exactly what information to share in an asynchronous manner. Unfortunately this bleeds information — your name is known to all websites which which you connect. We’d like to explore what a connect metaphor in combination with the ability to remain anonymous but connected means.

I agree with the firefox folks. Having a way to do verified anonymity is essential.

“Selective Disclosure” is the name for technologies that do this.

The firefox team should check out Stefan’s U-Prove Technology that may be released shortly by MSFT that acquired it over a year ago

(seems like Stefan killed his blog when he moved to MSFT..mmm..anyways.)

Firefox folks invite people to get involved here.

Internet Identity Workshop Details + Regular Registration Ends Wednesday

This is cross posted on the IIW Blog

Regular Registration ENDS NEXT WEDNESDAY – October 28th at Midnight. Prices go up $100 after that.

The Internet Identity Workshop #9 Tuesday – Thursday, November 3-5 in Mountain View, CA Computer History Museum

Please blog/tweet about the conference. The hash tag is #iiw , our twitter handle is @idworkshop

Proposed Topics List is here. We all make the agenda together beginning at 1 on Tuesday and again on Wednesday and Thursday morning. If you want to know more about how to prepare for an unconference check out this piece called “unconferencing” by Kaliya Hamlin (@identitywoman) the facilitator of the workshop.

You can see the specific times of sessions.

Tuesday Morning Opening talks will cover: * The Identity Trust Framework activities – Drummond Reed and Don Thibeau * Data Portability releasing their EULA work * Action Cards – Phil Windley and Paul Trevithick * Discovery etc. – Eran Hammer-Lahav * Activity Strea.ms etc. – * A VRM update * We might cover activity happening in the healthcare sector * We are working on having Vivek Kundra the CIO of the US join us via skype – as yet this is unconfirmed.

They won’t cover – OpenID 101, Information Cards 101 or SAML 101 If you are unfamiliar with these topics we recommend reading these papers/watching these videos. There is a lot of information online covering these topics on the foundations/organizations respective websites.

OpenIDhttp://openid.net/ OpenID video about it – http://www.youtube.com/

Information Cardshttp://informationcard.net/ Video – http://informationcard.net/watch-the-video

SAMLhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SecurityAssertionMarkup_Language Video – Ping Identity on SAML 101

All together now – the Venn of Identity The paper – by Drummond and Eve the update – The Zen of Venn

Demo Hour: We still have Demonstration slots available you must sign up ahead of time to Demo. It is Wednesday after lunch short 5min demos will be happening throughout the hour – throughout the room. Please e-mail Kaliya[at]mac.com to get a table and more information about how it will work.

Food: I forgot to ask if there were any special dietary requirements. Please let me know if you have any – this is what we have in store for you.

Tuesday – Burrito Bar, Tied House Wednesday – Indian, Italian Thursday – BBQ Boys

Thank you to our Sponsors:

Without their contributions this conference would not be possible. (we still have sponsorship opportunities available)

<a href=”http://www.internetidentityworkshop.com/sponsors/”> <img src=”http://www.internetidentityworkshop.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/IIW9Sidebar.jpg”> </a>

About the Notes Taking Procedures: In our effort to document the whole confernece and give all attendees access to all the happenings in sessions we have a notes taking procedure:

If you convene a session it is your responsibility to get a note taker for your session.

The note taker needs to use the NOTE TAKING FORMfound here in digital form (the paper version will be avaliable in each break out space too). When notes are complete, the note taking form must be e-mailed to iiwnotes@gmail.com OR transfered to a USB key at Documentation Center OR if paper notes are taken transcribed by the notes taker on computers provided in Documentation Center

We will also be collecting a more immediate list of results from each session on 11×17 sheets.

We are looking forward to seeing you next Tuesday!

let us know if you have any other questions,

-Kaliya, Phil and Doc

Identity Dispute on Twitter

From Slashdot

SpuriousLogic spotted this story on the BBC, from which he excerpts:

“The High Court has given permission for an injunction to be served via social-networking site Twitter. The order is to be served against an unknown Twitter user who anonymously posts to the site using the same name as a right-wing political blogger. The order demands the anonymous Twitter user reveal their identity and stop posing as Donal Blaney, who blogs at a site called Blaney’s Blarney. The order says the Twitter user is breaching the copyright of Mr. Blaney. He told BBC News that the content being posted to Twitter in his name was ‘mildly objectionable.’ Mr. Blaney turned to Twitter to serve the injunction rather than go through the potentially lengthy process of contacting Twitter headquarters in California and asking it to deal with the matter. UK law states that an injunction does not have to be served in person and can be delivered by several different means including fax or e-mail.”

ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit Announced

The ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit announcement is live. I am working on this with them as the facilitator. The event is modeled on the format we use at the Internet Identity Workshop to get a lot done and have real discussions about emerging topics in industry.

ReadWriteWeb has offered high quality coverage of this area for a long time and they seem like a natural convener of real conversation. Of course Identity is key to this industry but so are many other things.

Learn more here

Register here.

FastCo Post on Governemnt Experiments with Identity Technologies

This is cross posted on Fast Company.

The Obama administration open government memorandum called for transparency participation, collaboration and federal agencies have begun to embrace Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, surveys, social networks, and video casts. Today there are over 500 government Web sites and about 1/3 of them require a user name and password. Users need to be able to register and save information and preferences on government Web sites the same way they do today with their favorite consumer sites, but without revealing any personally identifiable information to the government.

Yesterday the United States Government in collaboration with industry announced a few pilot projects using emerging open identity technologies for citizens to use when interacting with government sites. I use the word interacting very deliberately because the government doesn’t want to know “who you are” and has gone great lengths to develop their implementations to prevent citizens from revealing personally identifiable information (name, date of birth etc).

How would you use this?–well imagine you are doing an in depth search on an NIH (National Institute of Health) Web site–and you went back to the site many times over several months. Wouldn’t it be great if the site could “know” it was you and help you resume your search where you left off the last time. Not your name and where you live but just that you were there before.

The Identity Spectrum helps us to understand how it all fits together.

Spectrum of IDAnonymous Identity is on one end of the identity spectrum–basically you use an account or identifier every time go to a Web site–no persistence, no way to connect the search you did last week with the one you did this week.

Pseudonymous Identity is where over time you use the same account or identifier over and over again at a site. It usually means you don’t reveal your common/real name or other information that would make you personally identifiable. You could use the same identifier at multiple sites thus creating a correlation between actions on one site and another.

Self-Asserted Identity is what is typical on the Web today. You are asked to share your name, date of birth, city of residence, mailing address etc. You fill in forms again and again. You can give “fake” information or true information about yourself–it is up to you.

Verified Identity is when there are claims about you that you have had verified by a third party. So for example if you are an employee of a company your employer could issue a claim that you were indeed an employee. You might have your bank verify for your address. etc.

The government pilot is focused on supporting citizens being able to have pseudonymous identities that function only at one Web site–the same citizen interacting with several different government Web sites needs to use a different identifier at each one so their activities across different government agencies do not have a correlation.

It is likely that some readers of this blog know about and understand typical OpenID. Almost all readers of this blog do have an openID whether they know it or not because almost all the major Web platforms/portals provide them to account holders–MySpace, Google, Yahoo!, AOL etc.

So how does this work with OpenID?

Typical OpenIDTypically when logging in with OpenID on the consumer Web you share your URL with the site you are logging into–they redirect you to where that is hosted on the Web–you authenticate (tell them your password for that account) and they re-direct you back to the site you were logging in. (see this slide show for a detailed flow of how this works). Using OpenID this way explicitly links your activities across multiple sites. For example when you use it to comment on a blog– it is known your words come from you and are connected to your own blog.

Using the OpenID with Directed identity–de-links your the identifiers used across different sites but still lets you use the same account to login to multiple sites.

Directed IdentityWhen you go to login to a site you are asked to share not “your URL” but just the name of the site where your account is–Yahoo! or Google or MySpace etc. you are re-directed to that site and from within your account a “directed identity” is created–that is a unique ID just for that Web site. Thus you get the convenience of not having to manage multiple accounts with multiple passwords and you get to store preferences that might be shared across multiple ID’s but you don’t have identifiers that correlate–that are linked across the Web.

How does this work with Information Cards?

This is a complementary open standard to OpenID that has some sophisticated features that allow it to support verified identities along with pseudonymous & self asserted identities. It involves a client-side piece of software called a selector–which selector helps you manage your different identifiers using a card based metaphor, with each digital “card” representing a different one. Citizens can create their own cards OR get them from third parties that validate things about them.

The government is creating a privacy protecting “card profile” to be used in the pilot program. It is NOT issuing identities.

Trust Framework are needed to get it all to work together.

From the press release yesterday:

“It’s good to see government taking a leadership role in moving identity technology forward. It’s also good to see government working with experts from private sector and especially with the Information Card Foundation and the OpenID Foundation because identity is not a technical phenomenon–it’s a social phenomenon. And technological support for identity requires the participation of a broad community and of representatives of government who define the legal framework within which identity will operate,” said Bob Blakley, Vice President and Research Director, Identity and Privacy Strategies, Burton Group. “Today’s announcement supplies the most important missing ingredient of the open identity infrastructure, mainly the trust framework. Without a trust framework it’s impossible to know whether a received identity is reliable.”

The OpenID Foundation and Information Card Foundation wrote a joint white paper to describe how they are working on developing this. From the abstract:

[They] are working with the U.S. General Services Administration to create open trust frameworks for their respective communities.

These frameworks, based on the model developed by the InCommon federation for higher education institutions, will enable government Web sites to accept identity credentials from academic, non-profit, and commercial identity providers that meet government standards. These standards are critical as they represent the government’s resolution of the challenging and often competing issues of identity, security, and privacy assurance. Open trust frameworks not only pave the way for greater citizen involvement in government, but can enable even stronger security and privacy protections than those typically available offline.

These are all exciting developments but there is much more to do.

Looking (far) ahead there may be the opportunity to do selective disclosure–combining anonymity with verified identity.

How do these go together–you can take a verified identity claim say your birth date then using cryptography strip the specifics away and just have a claim that says you are “over 21″. Then using an anonymous identifier you have selectively disclosed your age without giving away your date of birth.

You could imagine this would be handy for citizens wanting to communicate their opinions to their member of congress without revealing their actual name and address – they could “prove” using a verified claim they live in the district but not reveal who they are. This aspect of what is possible with the technology is VERY forward looking and will take many years to get there. There is enormous potential to evolve the Web with this emerging identity layer.

I would like to invite all of you interested in being involved/learning more to attend the Internet Identity Workshop in Mountain View California November 3-5. I have been facilitating this event since its inception in 2005. It is truly amazing to see how far things have progressed from when we were 75 idealistic technologist talking about big ideas. at the Hillside Club in Berkeley. It is also some what daunting to think about how much farther we have to go.

Open Identity for Open Government Explained

Today the United States Government with digital identity industry leaders announced the development of a pilot project with NIH and related agencies using two of the open identity technology standards OpenID and Information Cards.

This is, as a friend said to me, a “jump the shark moment” – these technologies are moving out from their technologists technology cave into mainstream adoption by government agencies. We are seeing the convergence of several trends transform the way citizens participate in and communicate with government:

  • Top-down support for open government
  • The proliferation of social media
  • The availability of open identity technologies

The Obama administration open government memorandum called for transparency participation, collaboration and federal agencies have begun to embrace Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, surveys, social networks, and videocasts.

Today there are over 500 government websites and about 1/3 of them require a user name and password. Users need to be able to register and save information and preferences on government websites the same way they do today with their favorite consumer sites, but without revealing any personally identifiable information to the government.

The challenge is that supporting this kind of citizen interaction with government via the web means that identity needs to be solved. On the one hand you can’t just ask citizens to get a new user-name and password for all the websites across dozens of agencies that they log in to. On the other you also can’t have one universal ID that the government issues to you and works across all government sites. Citizens need a way to interact with their government pseudonymously & in the future in verified ways.

So how will these technologies work?

Those already familiar with OpenID know that typically when users login with it they give their own URL – www.openIDprovider.com/username. (see this slideshare of mine if you want to see OpenID 101) There is a little known part of the OpenID protocol called directed identity – that is a user gives the name of their identity provider – Yahoo!, Google, MSN etc – but not their specific identifier. The are re-directed to their IdP and in choosing to create a directed identity they get an identifier that is unique to the site they are logging into. It will be used by them again and again for that site but is not correlatable across different websites / government agencies. The good news is it is like having a different user-name across all these sites but since the user is using the same IdP with different identifiers (unlinked publicly) but connected to the same account they just have to remember one password.

Information Cards are the new kids on the identity block in a way – this is their first major “coming out party” – I am enthusiastic bout their potential. It requires a client-side tool called a selector that stores the user’s “digital cards”. Cards can be created by the end user OR third parties like an employer, financial institution, or school can also issue them.

In essence, this initiative will help transform government websites from basic “brochureware” into interactive resources, saving individuals time and increasing their direct involvement in governmental decision making. OpenID and Information Card technologies make such interactive access simple and safe. For example, in the coming months the NIH intends to use OpenID and Information Cards to support a number of services including customized library searches, access to training resources, registration for conferences, and use of medical research wikis, all with strong privacy protections.

Dr. Jack Jones, NIH CIO and Acting Director, CIT, notes, “As a world leader in science and research, NIH is pleased to participate in this next step for promoting collaboration among Assurance Level 1 applications. Initially, the NIH Single Sign-on service will accept credentials as part of an “Open For Testing” phase, with full production expected within the next several weeks. At that time, OpenID credentials will join those currently in use from InCommon, the higher education identity management federation, as external credentials trusted by NIH.” In digital identity systems, certification programs that enable a site — such as a government agency — to trust the identity, security, and privacy assurances from an identity provider are called trust frameworks. The OIDF and ICF have worked closely with the federal government to meet the security, privacy, and reliability requirements set forth by the ICAM Trust Framework Adoption Process (TFAP), published on the IDManagement.gov website. By adopting OpenID and Information Card technologies, government agencies can cost effectively serve their constituencies in a more personalized and user friendly way.

“It’s good to see government taking a leadership role in moving identity technology forward. It’s also good to see government working with experts from private sector and especially with the Information Card Foundation and the OpenID Foundation because identity is not a technical phenomenon — it’s a social phenomenon. And technological support for identity requires the participation of a broad community and of representatives of government who define the legal framework within which identity will operate,” said Bob Blakley, Vice President and Research Director, Identity and Privacy Strategies, Burton Group. “Today’s announcement supplies the most important missing ingredient of the open identity infrastructure, mainly the trust framework. Without a trust framework it’s impossible to know whether a received identity is reliable.”

Under the OIDF and ICF’s open trust frameworks, any organization that meets the technical and operational requirements of the framework will be able to apply for certification as an identity provider (IdP). These IdPs can then supply authentication credentials on behalf of their users. For some activities these credentials will enable the user to be completely anonymous; for others they may require personal information such as name, email address, age, gender, and so on. Open trust frameworks enable citizens to choose the identity technology, identity provider, and credential with which they are most comfortable, while enabling government websites to accept and trust these credentials. This approach leads to better innovation and lower costs for both government and citizens.

The government is looking to leverage industry based credentials that citizens already have to provide a scalable model for identity assurance across a broad range of citizen and business needs – doing this requires a trust framework to assess the trustworthiness of the electronic credentials; see Trust Framework Provider Adoption Process (TFPAP).   A Trust Framework Provider is an organization that defines or adopts an online identity trust model involving one or more identity schemes, has it approved by a government or community such as ICAM, and certifies identity providers as compliant with that model. The OIDF and ICF will jointly serve as a TFP operating an Open Trust Framework as defined in their joint white paper, Open Trust Frameworks for Open Government.

Both the OpenID and Information Card Foundation have been working very hard on this for many months – last night I was fortunate to their boards at a history first ever joint dinner.

There are two women in particular though who have driven this forward: Judith Spencer of the Federal Identity, Credential, and Access Management Committee on the government side and Mary Ruddy of Meristic Inc on the industry side. Both of them will be speaking about the project at the Gov 2.0 Summit on Thursday.

Personally this announcement shows how far things have come since I facilitated the first Internet Identity Workshop in 2005 with 75 idealistic identity technologies talking about big ideas for use-centric identity. I am really looking forward to discussing these developments at the forthcoming 9th Internet Identity Workshop in November.

Thomas Friedman on the lesson from Van Jones – “Watch out for the participatory panopticon”

Thomas Friedman of the NYTimes on Meet the Press today talking about several recent incidents including what happened to Van Jones.

When everyone has a cell phone, everyone is a photographer, when everyone has access to YouTube, everyone is a filmmaker, and when everyone is a blogger everyone is a newspaper.

When everyone is a photographer, a newspaper and a filmaker everyone else is a public figure. Tell your kids ok,  be careful every move they make is now a digital footprint. You are on candid camera and unfortunately the real message to young people from all these incidents… (he says holding his hands closely together) is really keep yourself tight – don’t say anything controversial, don’t think anything controversial, don’t put anything in print – you know what ever you do just kind of smooth out all the edges (he says moving his hands in a streamlining motion down) and maybe you too – you know when you get nominated to be ambassador to Burkina Faso will be able to get through the hearing.

What does this capacity to document “everything” digitally mean to free thinking, and free speech? It seems that is having a quelling effect.

I have written about the participatory panopticon several times, a term coined by Jamais Cascio.

* Participatory Panopticon strikes Michael Phelps

* We Live in Public – a movie

* “sousveillance” coming to NYC and Big Brother coming to NYC

* Participatory Panopticon tracking the CIA’s Torture Taxi

* Condi Caught by Emerging Participatory Panopticon

* Accelerating Change Highlights: 1 (Jon Udell)

The first time I spent a whole day with technologists working on the identity layer of the web in 2003 I asked publicly at the end of the day – how do we forgive in these new kinds of tools in place? How do we allow for people to change over time if “everything” is documented?

I hope we can have a dialogue about these kinds of issues via the blogosphere and also face to face at the 9th Internet Identity Workshop coming up in November.

IIW IX is open for business


Iiw9_4.png

Internet Identity Workshop number 9 is coming up in about 10 weeks. November 3-5 (Tuesday to Thursday) in Mountain View California at the Computer History Museum.

We are excited about all the developments in the industry with protocol evolution in the social web space AND larger and larger scale deployments of open identity technologies including OpenID and Information Cards.

There will be much to talk about at this fall’s event.

Early REGISTRATION is Open! UNTIL SEPTEMBER 16 then prices go up by $50-75

Early Bird Prices are….

  • $274 regular tickets
  • $148 for independents
  • $ 50 for students

We need to get 75 people registered by September 16 to make a final confirmation for our conference space at the Computer History Museum.

Special this year we have the “BIG” ticket for those can expense $998 (but can’t convince marketing to sponsor). This is a GREAT way to support IIW!

IIW is a completely community driven event – we don’t pay anyone for marketing – the community is our marketing.

Please put our LOGO ON our blog our WEBSITE.

Follow IIW on Twitter – @idworkshop

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES ARE STILL AVAILABLE!!! Please contact Phil if you are interested in learning more phil@windley.org

JOIN THE COMMUNITY MAILING LIST

THE INVITATION TO IIW!

The Internet Identity Workshop focuses on “user-centric identity” and netizen empowerment on the social web trying to solve the technical challenge of how people can manage their own identity and social activity across the range of websites, services, companies and organizations that they belong to, purchase from and participate with.

This is where everyone from a diverse range of projects doing the real-work of making this vision happen gather and work intensively for three days. It is the best place to meet and participate with all the key people and projects. This is a comprehensive list of the technology communities that are covered.

The event does not have a pre-set agenda instead as people register they are asked what they would like to present about, learn and discuss with peers/industry experts. These are all collected here . The first morning of the conference will be introductory orientation about key projects and technologies in the community. After that the community creates the agenda itself using the Open Space Method. Dinner both Tuesday and Wednesday are a big part of the conference.

Here are links to notes that cover most of the sessions from the last two conferences IIW #8 spring of 2009     IIW #7 fall of 2008

These documents are great resources for convincing your boss of the value of this event.

The heart of the workshop is a practical idealism in working towards the shared vision of a decentralized, user-oriented identity layer for the Internet.

Because the web was built around “pages”, no tools or standards were created to control how the information about you was collected or used. At the Internet Identity Workshop we bring the people creating these tools and standards so people can safely manage their online identity and control their personal data.

It is not about any one technology – rather it is a place to discuss multiple interoperating (and possible competing) projects, standards, and networks for identity, data sharing, and reputation.

As part of Identity Commons, the Internet Identity Workshop creates opportunities for both innovators and competitors. We provide an open forum for both the big guys and the small fry to come together in a safe and balanced space.

There are a wide range of projects in the community:

  • Open conceptual, community, and governance models.
  • Open standards and protocols.
  • Open source projects.
  • Commercial projects.
  • Projects to address social and legal implications of these technologies.
  • Efforts to rethink the business models and opportunities available with these new technologies.

User-centric identity is the ability:

  • To use one’s identifier(s) on more than one site
  • To control who sees what information about you
  • To selectively share presence and profile information
  • To maintain multiple identities and personas in the contexts you wish
  • To aggregate attention, navigation, and purchase history from the sites and communities you frequent
  • To move and share your personal data, relationships, documents, and other publications as you wish

All of the following are active topic areas at each IIW:

  • Improving Existing Legal Constructs Privacy Policies Terms of Service
  • Creating New Legal Constructs – Limited Liability Personas, Identity Rights Agreements
  • Creating New Business Models – Identity Oracle, I-Brokers
  • New Citizenship Perspectives – Activism Community, Event Coordination, Community Identity and Data Sharing

The Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) was founded in the fall of 2005 by Phil Windley, Doc Searls and Kaliya Hamlin. IIW is a working group of Identity Commons The event has been a leading space of innovation and collaboration amongst the diverse community working on user-centric identity.

Identity for Online Community Managers

I was asked by Bill Johnson of Forum One Networks to kick off the discussion on the next Online Community Research Network call this week with the topic Identity for Online Community Managers – drawing on the presentation that I put together for the Community 2.0 Summit. I cover the basics of how OpenID, OAuth and Information Cards work, who is “in” terms of supporting the projects and what community managers/platforms can do. We will discuss the implications of these new identity and data sharing protocols on the call.

Online Identity for Community Managers: OpenID, OAuth, Information Cards

View more documents from Kaliya Hamlin.
I will also be attending the Online Community Summit in October Sonoma and will be sharing about these and other technologies there.

Freedom to Aggregate & Disaggregate oneself online.

I presented this slide show at the Oxford Internet Institute meeting in April that considered A Global Framework for Identity Management.

You could sum it up this way – “stuff happens in peoples lives and the need the freedom to go online and get support for those things and not have it all linked back to their “real identity.”

The slides are moving (drawing from post secret post cards) and it is worth watching if you don’t think people need this freedom.

its that SXSW picking time of year

200908181123.jpg

This year there are 2200 panels submitted for 300 slots. It is great they are going with community generated ideas for the conference. It is also hard to tell what will be happening in our fast moving industry 7 months from now. PLEASE go to SXSW create an account and then vote for these two :)

I put a lot of thought in to what to put forward this year knowing it would be 9 months out. One of the trends that is just starting to emerge is identity verification – my hunch is that by March this will be a topic getting a lot of attention and worth exploring at SXSW.

Who are you? Identity trends on the Social Web.

“On the Internet Nobody Knows You’re a Dog” Is this famous New Yorker cartoon still true? Twitter is doing verified accounts. Facebook claims everyone using their “real name” gives strong social validation ‘proof’. Equifax is validating age with information cards (digital tokens). We will explore the current trends and their implications for the future.

  1. What is identity?
  2. Why are people doing identity validation?
  3. Who is doing identity validation?
  4. Why are websites seeking people who have had their identities validated?
  5. Is identity validation improving the web?
  6. What are the current open standards in this space?
  7. Are approaches by men and women different about idnetity presentation and validation?
  8. What kinds of businesses are requiring online identity validation for customers?
  9. Is identity validation going to squish “free speech”?
  10. How is this trend changing the web?

With my She’s Geeky hat on: What Guys are Doing to Get More Girls in Tech!

The point of this is to get beyond the women say there are issues in the field and guys say there isn’t – to have guys who know there is an issue and are proactively doing constructive stuff to address it.

Many tech fields have a low percentage of women. If you are a guy do you wonder what you can do about it? Learn about successful strategies and proactive approaches for supporting women you work with and participate in community with. We will even cover some well-intentioned efforts that have gone awry.

  1. How many women by percentage participate in different technical fields?
  2. Why does it matter that they are underrepresented in these fields?
  3. What are the cultural norms that men and women have about performance and self-promotion?
  4. What is Male Programmer Privilege?
  5. What can a guy do who has a sister that is math/science inclined but being steered away from the field?
  6. How have the men on the panel improved things in their workplaces?
  7. How have the men on the panel addressed the challenges that arise in open communities? (that is where you don’t have a boss that fires people for inappropriate behavior/comments)
  8. What are the qualities of a workplace that is friendly for women?
  9. How to go beyond tokenism in workplaces, communities and conferences?
  10. How to encourage women more?

Other interesting Preso/panels covering Identity topics:

The Politics & Economics of Identity Put forward by my friend Liza Sabature of Culture Kitchen and the Daily Gotham Identity Politics” has always been left to the realm of feminist, civil rights activists, aka “minority politics”. This panel will explore the social and political ramifications of the business of identity and reputation. We will talk about the good, the bad and the ugly and what social entrepreneurs, businesses and digital activists are doing to impact this new economy.

  1. What is identity?
  2. What is reputation?
  3. What is privacy?
  4. How have big business historical monetized privacy?
  5. How social media works on identity and reputation?
  6. Online surveillance in the US : DMCA, FISA, Patriot Act
  7. Facebook BEACON : a study on how not to spy on people for fun and profit
  8. Google Adsense or Spysense?
  9. What are Vendor-Relationship Management systems?
  10. Will we need “Identity Management Systems” instead of VRMs?

Distributed Identity: API’s of the Semantic Web Without much conscious thought, most of us have built identities across the web. We fill in profiles, upload photos, videos, reviews and bookmarks. This session will explore the practical use of Social Graph API and YQL to build new types of user experience combining identity discovery and data portability.

Online Gatekeeping: Who Died and Made You King? by Liz Burr As the web becomes more open via social networks, we’re adopting new rules of communication. But who creates these rules? How much does class, race and gender figure into social media policing? We’ll discuss how identity affects social networks, as well as look at how online communities police themselves as participation expands.

  1. Which groups are in control of what is worth sharing via social media?
  2. Are the under-25 community using social media differently?
  3. How do we recognize and confront social media ‘gatekeepers’?
  4. Is our behavior in online communities merely a reflection of offline stereotypes and experiences?
  5. What is the impact of the amplification of social stereotypes online on under-represented groups?
  6. How do we integrate previously, under-represented groups into this more social world?
  7. Is there really such a thing as a “digital ghetto”? If so, is it our responsiblity to combat it?

OpenID: Identity is the platform is put forward by Chis Messina.
I have to say it is really great to have this be put forward so plainly and simply – to “get religion” about user-centric tdentity and its central role in shaping the fugure the social web.

Ignore the hype over social networking platforms and web OS’s! The platform of the social web is identity. Facebook and Twitter Connect are just the beginning of the era of user-centric identity. I’ll go beyond the basics of OpenID and learn how to effectively incorporate internet identity into your apps.

Your Online Identity After Death and Digital Wills

If you died tomorrow, would someone take care of your internet accounts? How do you tell subscribers the blogger has died? Every day people die and no one can access their email. Let’s explore what can be done to manage your online identity after you pass on.

  1. What usually happens to email accounts when a person dies? Policies for Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and AOL
  2. What about WordPress.com and Blogger for digital policies concerning the death of a blogger?
  3. Do You have a digital will setup?
  4. Products and services to manage digital wills, electronic correspondence after death and auto replies.
  5. Grief, “You Have Mail” and online memorial services.
  6. Who owns blog content after the death of a blogger?
  7. How to calculate the worth of your website or blog.
  8. How can you manage your online accounts and passwords for easy access after you pass?
  9. What are some recent legal examples of online account ownership disagreements?
  10. How to keep your passwords safe?

How to Benefit from 1-Click Identity Providers by Luke Shepard from Facebook.

Sites across the Web are opening up to support open identity platforms, such as OpenID. How can companies at scale and those with large user bases successfully work with open standards including OpenID, Activity Streams and new social markup language specs? Can companies survive the challenges of incorporating OpenID into their websites?

  1. Are there any success stories with OpenID?
  2. What does the OpenID user experience look like?
  3. Who has implemented OpenID?
  4. What have been some of the failures of OpenID?
  5. What is OpenID?
  6. What are the user benefits of OpenID?
  7. How can websites educate users about open protocols?
  8. What are the privacy concerns around OpenID?
  9. What kind of user data is made available to sites when they implement OpenID?
  10. What will it take for OpenID to become mainstream?

Crime Scene: Digital Identity Theft


ID biz models “in the future maybe” says Johannes

Johanne Ernst is a builder of Identity technologies (and one of the clearest thoughtful thinkers about identity technologies and markets. He just posted a great post about business models in the identity space. I know he has at various times tried raise money as an entrepruner in this space – so he has thought a lot about the business models.

For those of you who don’t know Johannes he developed Light-Weight Identity (LID) a URL based ID system at the same time Brad Fitzpatrick did at Live Journal and then participated in merging it all together into YADIS discovery which became woven together with OpenIDv1, XRI/i-names  and sxip to become OpenIDv2. He also was the first drawer of the identity triangle (OpenID, SAML, InfoCards) which evolved into the Venn of Identity.

Many people have ideas for value-added services that could be sold once sufficiently many users used internet identities at enough sites. The trouble is that the transaction volume for OpenID (or any other identity technology on the internet) is still far too low to make this viable.

The mot important sentence is this one – Let’s not confuse being majorly annoyed how long this is all taking (speaking about myself here) with something being fundamentally wrong (because there isn’t).

I take heart with what he has to say especially because he addresses it to a big part of what I do – organize (un)conferences to continue momentum for the field.

From his post:

Value-added services:
Many people have ideas for value-added services that could be sold once sufficiently many users used internet identities at enough sites. The trouble is that the transaction volume for OpenID (or any other identity technology on the internet) is still far too low to make this viable.

So the verdict here is: perhaps in the future.   

So what’s an analyst, or conference organizer, or entrepreneur, or venture capitalist to do?

My take: Hang in there, keep the burn rate low, make no major moves, would be my advice. (Believe it or not, sometimes I’m being asked about my advice on this.) All the signs are pointing in the right direction, the latest being Google’s major OpenID push. Let’s not confuse being majorly annoyed how long this is all taking (speaking about myself here) with something being fundamentally wrong (because there isn’t).

Sooner or later, at least the value-added services opportunity will emerge. Perhaps others. But so far it has not yet.

Identity & Gov and & Open Standards

I am really happy to let you all know about this forth coming OASIS ID-Trust Identity Management 2009 event September 29-30.

The theme of the event will be “Transparent Government: Risk, Rewards, and Repercussions.”

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be hosting it in Gainthersburg, Maryland.

In the why attend the reference part of a directive by Barack Obama to the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council.

“to defend our information and communications infrastructure, strengthen public/private partnerships, invest in cutting edge research and development and to begin a national campaign to promote cyber-security awareness and digital literacy.” The U.S. federal government aims to accomplish all of this while becoming increasingly open and transparent.

The program is now available – and looks quite good.

There is a discount available until August 31. There are special registration proceedures for non-US citizens.

Web Finger! moving out into world

I love the Internet Identity Workshop! it is where innovative ideas are hatched, answers to hard problems are vetted and standards consensus emerges. This is just the latest in amazing collaborations that have emerged.

Web Finger was covered on Tech Crunch today with this headline – Google Points At WebFinger. Your Gmail Address Could Soon Be Your ID.

At IIW in May they had a session lead by John Panzer. The notes were not filled out that much but (All the Notes from IIW)   

but there is a white board of their conversation and a link to what google had up.

Chris Messina spliced it together

XRD the discovery protocol is part of how Web Finger works. This spun out of XRI.

Techcrunch didn’t explicitly pick up on the fact that Eran Hammer-Lahev has been a key collaborator and is at Yahoo! (they did link to the mailing list where he is posting). He has been really driving XRD forward lately.

All exciting stuff.

DiSo ideas are not that new.

Reading these:

A Perfect Storm Forming for Distributed Social Networking- Read Write Web

Evolution of Blogging – GigaOm

The Push Button Web – Anil Dash

The inside Out Social Network – Chris Messina

The Future Social Web – Jeremiah Owyang

I realize how incredibly ahead of the times I was along with many of the people I have been working with on open standards identity and social web standards.

I wrote this describing open standards for distributed social networking online in April of 2004f or the Planetwork Conference (from Archive.org)  that I was promoting.

———————— From Archive.org April 2004 ——————

ID Commons: Social Networking For Social Good: Creating Community Trust Infrastructure Through An Identity Commons

In 2003 the Planetwork LinkTank white paper The Augmented Social Network: Building Identity and Trust into the Next-Generation Internet proposed weaving new layers of identity and trust into the fabric of the Internet to facilitate social networking for social good – online citizenship for the information age.

The LinkTank white paper outlined three main objectives:

  1. Establishing a new kind of persistent online identity that supports the public commons and the values of civil society.
  2. Enhancing the ability of citizens to form relationships and self-organize around shared interests in communities of practice and engage in democratic governance.
  3. Creating an Internet-wide system for more efficient and effective knowledge sharing between people across institutional, geographic, and social boundaries.

Currently each site with a login or membership profile is like an island, or at worst a walled castle, as no common inter-operation is possible among large numbers of them. Creating a truly interoperable network will require an explicit social agreement that governs the operation of the trusted network, and implementation of a new software protocol consistent with that agreement.

Identity Commons

[note this is a reference to the "first" Identity Commons - the current Identity Commons shares the values and some of the organizing principles of this first organization but evolved from it]

The Identity Commons is an open distributive membership organization, designed to develop and operate a common digital identity infrastructure standard based on the shared principle of protecting each user’s control of their own identity data. A common identity infrastructure must be embedded within a binding social agreement ensuring that the technology and its institutional users operate in accordance with core principles. In addition to developing this agreement, Identity Commons is managing the development and implementation of the new technology needed to achieve this as a fiscal project of Planetwork, a California 501(c)3 non-profit.

The Identity Commons is based on an implementation of two new OASIS standards:

XRI – a new identity addressing scheme fully compatible with URIs
XDI – specifies link contracts for shared use of data across the Internet

For more technical information see: http://xrixdi.idcommons.net

Once implemented, the Identity Commons infrastructure will:

  • Give individuals, organizations, and even ad-hoc groups persistent addresses (digital identities) that can be used in many ways. Each party can decide what their own address links to, and who can follow the links.
  • Provide single sign-on, enabling individuals to connect to multiple sites without having to provide a login and password to each.
  • Empower user/citizens to manage their own consolidated profiles, which will be likely to stay up to date as everyone maintains only their own master copy.
  • Generate network maps that enable communities to more efficiently understand their own membership, make connections, recognize patterns, filter messages, and self-organize around new topics and functions.
  • Provide collaborative filtering services based on knowledge and reputation databases where contributors can also control their own level of anonymity.
  • Enable group formation around common interests and affinities with reputation attributes for trusted communication, which could be the key to eliminate spam.

How is this different from what is already happening in the private sector?

Currently every web site has a privacy policy, but they vary widely, are rarely read, are only good until they are changed and are thus effectively useless.

The Identity Commons (IC) solves this by (1) replacing thousands of privacy policies with a single institutional membership agreement that simplifies the user experience. Every Identity Commons member site is party to a legally binding commitment that can only be changed by amending the IC membership agreement – which is governed by all IC members. And (2) by using electronic contracts to grant, record, and enforce data sharing across boundaries.

Ultimately there can only be one fully interoperable social network; just as email can travel anywhere on the Internet, your profile must also be able to do so. Microsoft would love to make this possible, and fully control it – their Passport system was designed to do just that. By hosting identity data for nearly everyone who has a computer Microsoft hopes to put themselves in the middle of every transaction they can.

In response to this, a group of large companies formed the Liberty Alliance which developed protocols that will allow institutions to “federate” data across company boundaries. Federation is an improvement over the Microsoft Passport model, however, both of these approaches treat individuals solely as consumers, and neither provide support for civil society, citizen collaboration or for individual citizens to control their own identity data.

The Identity Commons agreement and technical infrastructure is a way to correct this imbalance of power, allowing the Internet to fulfill its great potential as a “commons” in which individual citizens can interact freely and as equals everywhere on Earth.

————- end Identity Commons description from Planetwork’s 2004 site ———

Writing this document was the first work that I did as an evangelist for the proposed open standards for distributed digital identity to enable open distributed social networks.
I wrote it based on reading through all their work and listening to their vision of the founders of Identity Commons and those working together for 2+ years hoped for in the adoption of the open standards they were working on. These protocols are now all ratified in OASIS (one of three standards bodies for the internet the other two being IETF and W3C) – XRI, XDI along with XRD/XRD that spun out of XRI as it became incorporated in OpenIDv2 as a key part of what makes it work.

Identity that is user owned, controlled managed – and this includes the preferences, attention data, uterances, 1/2 of transaction data – is at the heart of what one needs to make this vision of distributed social networking work. I think until recently it has been misunderstood as esoteric and just talk – amazing progress has been made since the early days of the identity gang that community has grown and developed many of the conceptual understandings and protocols that are taken as givens.

Folks from what the identity community (and perhaps should consider “updating” its name to the identity and social web community).…invented – as in used for the first time these two words together Social and Web – SOCIAL WEB – (according to wikipedia)

With the title of this paper: The Social Web: Creating An Open Social Network with XDI

This paper was preceeded by the Augmented Social Network: Building and Trust into the Next Generation Internet

Like the Web or email, the ASN would be available to anyone. It would become a common part of the Internet infrastructure – a person-centered and group-centered service of the net. It will be implemented through the widespread adoption of technical protocols; any online community infrastructure could choose to be part of the ASN by implementing them. Central to its design are fundamental principles of openness, inclusivity, and decentralization — which are necessary for a thriving democracy. At the same time, the ASN would support the highest available forms of security to protect privacy.

The Identity Gang began talking/meeting in the later part 2004 and has continued to meet in the Internet Identity Workshop.

There is much wisdom that these communities have developed that can be useful in moving / re-articulating the vision… to be sure lessons are to be learned from understanding more about why certain approaches/standards/proposed ways of doing things didn’t happen (yet).

I think the market wasn’t ready for what the identity community was saying. As someone who has been evangelizing about this set of issues practically full time since 2004. In the first few years I would talk in a range of communities and at conferences about all these issues, user control, open standards the danger of the potential emergence of large silo’s that locked users in and people just “didn’t get” it was an issue or that there was even a need for these kinds of standards. Now the market is finally ready.

The 9th Internet Identity Workshop  is this November – and REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

There is a whole conversation on the DiSo list where I highlighted this context/history. There might be a beer meetup in Berkeley this evening at Triple Rock at 7:30.

Digital Identity -> Sculpture

My friend Cameron Hunt sent me a link to this AMAZING site this morning.

IDENTITÄT: the »Gestalt « of digital identity

From the far end of the Concept page:

The goal of the project was not to create a readable data sculpture of someone’s digital life, but to express how an analogue snapshot of complex dig­ital identities can be presented. Based on four de­fined cri­te­ria all sculp­tures had to be compa­ra­ble in their form, size and ex­pres­sion. Af­ter generating those sculp­tures based upon the particles only, we added time as an under­lying factor. The particle system, which rep­resents a persons inter­ests, spreads in space until it is bal­anced. The speed of this expan­sion, the thickness of the cre­ated hull and the starting point of the drawing process is connected to the factors age, activ­ity and communication behav­ior.


This system leads to an embod­i­ment for the final ~Gestalt of dig­ital identity. A still life of an ongo­ing process about re­defining and dec­orating. This dynam­ic process of dig­ital »day life« is cap­tured in our person­al interpretation of the dig­ital identity as an amorp­hous sculp­ture.
The Process Page says more about how they did it.

Great Identity News

Yesterday the Government hosted a workshop in DC: Open Government Identity Management Solutions Privacy Workshop.

The OpenID Foundation and the Information Card Foundation are working with the U.S. General Services Administration to create open trust frameworks for their respective communities.

Drummond Reed and Don Tibeau announced their paper Open Trust Frameworks for Open Government.

Quiet and intense work has been going on since just before the last IIW on all this, so it is great to see it begin to see the light of day.

The OpenID Foundation had a wonderful new redesign that Chris Messina announced. This page really made me smile: Get an OpenIDSurprise! You may already have an OpenID.

Axel did a Wordle of it: