Core Concepts in Identity

One of the reasons that digital identity can be such a challenging topic to address is that we all swim in the sea of identity every day.  We don’t think about what is really going in the transactions….and many different aspects of a transaction can all seem do be one thing.  The early Identity Gang conversations focused a lot on figuring out what some core words meant and developed first shared understanding and then shared language to talk about these concepts in the community.

I’m writing this post now for a few reasons.

There is finally a conversation about taxonomy with the IDESG – (Yes! after over a year of being in existence it is finally happening (I recommended in my NSTIC NOI Response  that it be one of the first things focused on)

Secondly I have been giving a 1/2 day and 1 day seminar about identity and personal data for several years now (You can hire me!).  Recently I gave this seminar in New Zealand to top enterprise and government leaders working on identity projects 3 times in one week.  We covered:

  • The Persona and Context in Life
  • The Spectrum of Identity
  • What is Trust?
  • A Field Guide to Internet Trust
  • What is Personal Data
  • Market Models for Personal Data
  • Government Initiatives Globally in eID & Personal Data

[Read more…]

Meta-Governance

This spring I attended the Executive Education program Leadership and Public Policy in the 21st century at the Harvard Kennedy school of government with fellow Young Global Leaders (part of the World Economic Forum).  A line of future inquiry that came to me by the end of that two weeks –

How do we design, create, get functioning and evolve governance systems?

The governance of governance systems = Meta-Goverancne. 

At the Kennedy program all they could talk about was “individual leadership” (with good advice from good teams of course) at the top of  Organizations.  They all waved their hands and said “Good luck young leaders, We know its more complicated now…and the problems are bigger then just organizational size but we don’t really know how what to tell you about how to interorgainzational collaborative problem solving and innovations…so “good luck”.

It was surreal because this inter-organizational, complex space is where I spend my work life helping design and facilitate unconferneces – it is in that complex inter organizational place.

I have this clear vision about how to bring my two main career bodies of knowledge together (digital identity + digital systems & design and facilitation of unconferneces using a range of participatory methods) along with a range of other fields/disciplines that I have tracked in the last 10 years.

Real Names vs Nyms at Quora & Unconferences

I am again in a #nymwar [wikipedia & Botgirl’s Scoop.it] situation that I actually care about. I have been denied full participation in Quora for a long long time now because my last name was listed as IdentityWoman (ironically my answer to why having control over your identity and personal data online matters did go through but then was put into suspension when they insisted on changing my name to a WASPonym).

Now there is a thread all about an unconfernece for women of Quora and they have mentioned both Unconference.net my business and She’s Geeky that I founded in the threads. I for this one important conversation bow to the “feudal lord”  of Quora as their humble “content producing servent” share my so-called real name…and help them have a good unconference and raise the issues of real name requirements within the context of real human beings who engage with the site all the time and hopefully staff as well.  Until we have the freedom to choose our names for public interactions on the web – to define our own identities based on our context and how we wish to appear where – we do not live in a free society.

 

Before they “banned” me for having the wrong color skin name. I got to write an eloquent to this question (posted below since it isn’t on their site).

Why does owning one’s own online identity and personal data matter?

and was voted to the top (with 5 votes) by others…but now that answer isn’t there cause I didn’t use my real name.

So now you can’t see it…this is akin to not letting me sit somewhere in a public space because the color of my skin is the wrong one OR I happen to sit in a wheel chair to get around and there isn’t room in our restaurant and they are in violation of American’s with Disabilities Act.

The women of Quora are talking about organizing an unconfernece and found two of my organizations/sites and are enthusiastic about them. I am totally unable to talk to them about their ideas or my sites unless I pass their “real names” test….you know like a pole tax … that Bob and I talked about in our Cloud Identity Summit closing Keynote about Identification and Social Justice (slides and videos will be online soon).

My answer to:

Why does owning one’s own online identity and personal data matter?

We own our own bodies – we have freedom and autonomy to move around the physical world.  We have rights and freedoms; If our physical lives are terminated there are consequences.

In the digital world many people are not the primary “owner” of their own identity (in digital space the equivalent of a physical body is a persistent identifier like an e-mail address or a URL or phone number).  Most people’s identity on the web is “under” terms and conditions of a private company and they can terminate people’s accounts, their identities, without recourse.

Many companies with which people have their identities “under” choose to in exchange for providing identity provisioning services and things like e-mail. They also track and aggregate user’s activities on their services and across the web via cookies and other beacons.  This profile of activity has real value and is being used by the companies to profile them and then sell abstract versions of the profile information on ad exchanges.

Some have said we live in an age of digital feudalism, where we are serfs on the lords’ manors (the large web portals).

Having the freedom and autonomy to choose who we are online and how we express ourselves is important to ensuring a free society  with rights and liberty.

Adding some more: About one’s social graph… The links in your social graph in the current architecture of the web exist within particular contexts – you have friends in Facebook or Followers on Twitter or Professional Contacts on LinkedIN. Those links, those connections in a “social graph” are ulitmately owned by the company within which you made those links. If you choose to leave any one of those networks – all your links to those people are terminated.

This is an architecture of control. You are locked into those systems if you don’t want to loose the links to others in them. To own your own identity would be to have an identity that would give you the freedom to not loose the links to your contacts, they would be peer to peer autonomous of any particular service.

The next time there is a major social revolution like in Egypt governments are not going to try and turn of the internet or mobile phone system it is likely they will simply call facebook ans ask them to terminate the accounts of dissidents.

 

 

Recent Activity Pt 4: Europe Week 1

Week one in Europe was busy. The day I arrived Esther picked me up and we headed to Qiy’s offices where i got to run into John Harrison who I last saw a year ago at IIW Europe. He is organizing a consortium to go in for FP-7 money (80 million) put out for projects around Identity in the European Union.

Wednesday was Nov 9th Identity.Next convened by Robert was great bringing people together from across Europe. 1/2 the day was a regular conference and 1/2 the day was an UnConference that I helped facilitate.  I ran a session about personal data and we had a good conversation.  I also learned about a German effort that seemed promising – Pidder – their preso in The Hague

November 10th I headed to London for New Digital Economics EMEA along with Maarten from Qiy.  It was fantastic to be on stage with 5 different start-up projects all doing Personal Data along with one big one :)

It was clear that the energy in the whole space had shifted beyond the theoretical and the response from the audience was positive.  I shared the landscape map we have been working on to explain elements of the overall ecosystem.

Digital Death Day was November 11th in Amsterdam was small but really good with myself, Stacie and Tamara organizing.  We had a small group that included a Funeral Director a whole group form Ziggur. We were sponsored by the company formerly know as DataInherit – they changed their name to SecureSafe. Given that Amsterdam is closer then California to Switzerland we were hopping they would make it given their ongoing support…alas not this year.

One of the key things to come out of the event was an effort to unite the technology companies working on solutions in this area around work to put forward the idea of a special OAuth token for their kind of services perhaps also with a “Trust Framework” that could use the OIX infrastructure.

It as also inspiring to have  two two young developers attend.

  • Leif Ekas  travelled from Norway – I had met him this summer in Boston when he was attending summer school at BU and working on his startup around aspects of digital death.
  • Sebastian Hagens – Sebastix
It made me wish Markus had made it there from Vienna.
When I was at TEDx Brussels I was approached by another young developer Tim De Conick well more accurately visionary who got some amazing code written – WriteID.
Given the energy last summer at the Federated Social Web Summit and these new efforts that could all be connected together/interoperable. I think there is critical mass for a developer / hacker week for Personal Data in Europe this Spring Summer and I am keen to help organize it.

The Nymwars and what they mean: summary of my posts to date.

Update: Google relented a bit, however I am still waiting to see if my name of choice was approved. You can read about the process I had to go through here. The New Google Names Process

—————–

For those of you coming from the Mercury News story on the NymWars exploding

I STILL have my Google+ profile suspended for using a  [  .  ] as my last name.  Prior to that I had “Identity Woman” as my last name and prior to that… before I ever got a G+ profile and since I started using Gmail and Google Profiles I had a   [  *   ]as my last name. [see the complete list of posts about this whole saga below]

It is my right to choose my own name online and how I express it.  Names and identities are socially constructed AND contextual… and without the freedom to choose our own names, and the freedom to have different names (and identifiers) across different contexts we will end up with a social reality that I don’t want to live in: Participatory Totalitarianism.

[Read more…]

Web Wide Sentence Level Annotation -> Hypothes.is

I first met Dan Whaley last spring via an introduction from Jim Fournier co-founder of Planetwork.  I was inspired by the vision he was working on building Hypothes.is -  a way to have sentence level annotation of news and other articles on a web wide scale. Really a foundation for peer review on the web. The motivation for his work is to support greater discernment of the truth around climate change and other key issues facing our society and our planet.  (Another area I could see this being really useful right now is around accountability in the financial system and ways to make that real.)

He asked me to be a part of the project as an advisor particularly around identity issues and technology options for identity.  He is taking my advice and coming to IIW this coming week.  Its an honor to be amongst other distinguished advisors like Brewster Kahle,  John Perry Barlow,  Mark Surman and others..

He has been working on a development plan and has a solid on one in place.  He has launched a Kickstarter Campaign and  stars in the video that articulates the vision of the project.  If you are inspired by the vision I encourage you to contribute.

Is Google+ is being lynched by out-spoken users upset by real names policy?

Following my post yesterday Google+ says your name is “Toby” not “Kunta Kinte”, I chronicled tweets from this morning’s back and forth with  Tim O’Reilly and Kevin MarksNishant  KaushikPhil Hunt,  Steve Bogart and Suw Charman-Anderson.

I wrote the original post after watching the Bradley Horwitz (@elatable) – Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly) interview re: Google+. I found Tim’s choice of words about the tone (strident) and judgement (self-righteous) towards those standing up for their freedom to choose their own names on the new social network being rolled out by Google internet’s predominant search engine disappointing.  His response to my post was to call me self-righteous and reiterate that this was just a market issue.

I myself have been the victim of a Google+ suspension since July 31st and yesterday I applied for a mononym profile (which is what it was before they insisted I fill out my last name which I chose to do so with my online handle and real life identity “Identity Woman”) 

In the thread this morning Tim said that the kind of pressure being aimed at Google is way worse then anything they are doing and that in fact Google was the subject of a “lynch mob” by these same people.  Sigh, I guess Tim hasn’t read much history but I have included some quotes form and links to wikipedia for additional historial context.

Update: inspired in part by this post an amazing post “about tone” as a silencing/ignoring tactics when difficult, uncomfortable challenges are raised in situations of privilege was written by Shiela Marie.  

I think there is a need for greater understanding all around and that perhaps blogging and tweeting isn’t really the best way to address it.  I know that in the identity community when we first formed once we started meeting one another in person and really having deep dialogues in analogue form that deeper understanding emerged.  IIW the place we have been gathering for 6 years and talking about the identity issues of the internet and other digital systems is coming up in mid-October and all are welcome.  The agenda is created live the day of the event and all topics are welcome.

Here’s the thread… (oldest tweets first)

 Note all the images of tweets in this thread are linked to the actual tweet (unless they erased the tweet).  [Read more…]

Google+ says your name is “Toby” NOT “Kunta Kinte”

This post is about what is going on at a deeper level when Google+ says your name is “Toby” NOT “Kunta Kinte”. The punchline video is at the bottom feel free to scroll there and watch if you don’t want to read to much.

This whole line of thought to explain to those who don’t get what is going on with Google+ names policy arose yesterday after I watched the Bradley Horwitz – Tim O’Reilly interview (they start talking about the real names issue at about minute 24).

[Read more…]

Lets try going with the Mononym for Google+

Seeing that Google+ is approving mononyms for some (Original Sai, on the construction of names Additional Post) but not for others (Original Stilgherrian Post Update post ).

I decided to go in and change my profile basically back to what it was before all this started.  I put a  ( . ) dot in the last name field.  In my original version of my google proflile my last name was a * and when they said that was not acceptable I put my last name as my online handle “Identity Woman”.

[Read more…]

Alignment of Stakeholders around the many NSTIC Goals

 

The Many Goals for the Identity Ecosystem & NSTIC Governance

The NSTIC governance NOI articulates many key activities, qualities and goals for a governance system for NSTIC. NSTIC must:

  • convene a wide variety of stakeholders to facilitate consensus
  • administer the process for policy and standards
  • development for the Identity Ecosystem Framework in accordance with the Strategy’s Guiding Principles
  • maintain the rules of participating in the Identity Ecosystem
  • be private sector-led
  • be persistent and sustainable
  • foster the evolution of the Identity Ecosystem to match the evolution of cyberspace itself.

Achieving these goals will require high-performance collaboration amongst the steering group and all self-identified stakeholder groups. It will also require earning the legitimacy from the public at large and using methods that surface their experience of the Identity Ecosystem Framework as it evolves.

[Read more…]

Proactive Development of Shared Language by NSTIC Stakeholders

This is the “punchline section” (in my response it is after what is below…the history of collaboration in the identity community):

Proactive Development of Shared Language by NSTIC Stakeholders

In 2004-5 the Identity Gang (user-centric identity community) was 1/10 the size of the current NSTIC stakeholder community.  It took us a year of active grassroots effort to develop enough common language and shared understanding to collaborate. NSTIC doesn’t have 5-10 years to coalesce a community that can collaborate to build the Identity Ecosystem Framework. To succeed, the National Program Office must use processes to bring value and insight while also developing  shared language and understanding amongst stakeholders participating.

[Read more…]

Identity and Personal Narrative & the Digital Age

One of the things you learn early on when diving into the subject of identity is that it means many things.
The sense of self is one of them.  Today I ran across this article via John Hage’s facebook.  Storytelling 2.0 when new narratives meet old brains.
“We are our narratives” has become a popular slogan. “We” refers to our selves, in the full-blooded person-constituting sense. “Narratives” refers to the stories we tell about our selves and our exploits in settings as trivial as cocktail parties and as serious as intimate discussions with loved ones. We express some in speech. Others we tell silently to ourselves, in that constant little inner voice. The full collection of one’s internal and external narratives generates the self we are intimately acquainted with. Our narrative selves continually unfold. [Read more…]

Privacy Identity and Innovation – pii & Women

The Privacy Identity and Innovation is coming up August 17-19th in Seattle, Washington.

This conference is the brain child of Natalie Fonseca who has run the Tech Policy Summit for several years.

I am speaking at the event on a panel about personal data stores (a new project I will write more about here soon).  I am really proud to be amongst many other women industry leaders speaking. I know Natalie took proactive approach to recruiting women to speak and voila – their are women speakers at this technology conference.

Denise Tayloe, CEO of Privo
Marie Alexander, CEO of Quova
Linda Criddle, CEO of Reputation Share
Fran Maier, President of TRUSTe
Anne Toth, Chief Privacy Officer for Yahoo
Michelle Dennedy, VP at Oracle
Judith Spencer of GSA
Christine Lemke, CTO of Sense Networks
Betsy Masiello of Google
Heather West of Center for Democracy and Technology
Eve Maler of PayPal
Susan Lyon of Perkins Coie
Deborah Estrin of UCLA

It should be a great event – the guys on the program are equally cool.

When to share your real name? Blizzard and their Real ID plans.

I was recently CCed in a tweet referencing this article “Why Real ID is a Really Bad Ideaabout World of Warcraft implementing their version of a “Real ID” in a way that violated the trust of its users.

The woman writing the article is very clear on the identity “creep” that happened and got to the point of requiring users to use the Real ID account within the system to post on forums and EVEYWHERE they interacted on company websites.

She articulates clearly why this creates an unhealthy climate and a chilled atmosphere for many users.

[Read more…]

Personal Anchor on the Web for Digital Identity – CC Images

I got a request for the images I posted in “Personal Anchors on the Web for Digital Identity” from David Larlet to use in a slide presentation in France. I decided to open them up and post them here.

Below are versions with english text and a version without english text.

[Read more…]

Personal Anchors on the Web for Digital Identities

I have been evangelizing about user-centric identity on the web 5 years. I talk about the ideas with people constantly explaining and re-explaining different developments in the field, forward looking projects and visionary ideas community members talk about. I watch what I say carefully and I notice when I start thinking and explaining something differently.

The new term that has emerged for me this week is “anchor on the web”... as in Where is your anchor on the web? or People have an anchor on the web – this is there “identity” – the question is do they control (owning a domain name) it or is it controlled by the company that does.

200906160037.jpg

I link this metaphor because it evokes the image of a boat that is you and an anchor that is linking you to somewhere – do you want this to land in a stable place that you have control over? Likely yes – if you anchor to someone else’s ship (have your name in their domain space) you are literally tied to them. Rather then being able to visit them on your own terms and leave if you like.

200906160058.jpg  

You can get copies of these images under CC license here.

In my last post I talked about facebook URLs and people getting their own domain name along with the contrast of usability with each. Chris Messina also wrote about facebook URLs and correctly points out that this is a battle over your digital identity.

I got a comment today from IWantMyName.com (they also have a blog) saying I was absolutely right about usability issues that domain registrars have.

You are absolutely right. It’s a common problem of domain registrars / hosting providers. They’re too focused on up-selling other services and the secondary market instead of serving the actual internet user. We’re watching the identity community closely with iWantMyName and will definitely provide identity management features in the future. For now, we already made the domain registration process easy and are helping users setting up apps like Gmail, Tumblr, Posterous etc.

Coincidently – today at SemTech the CEO of Nombray presented as part of Chris Saad’s talk about DataPortability. They let you very easily create a website under your own domain name that aggregates your information from around the web. I haven’t paid the $10 yet but I was very impressed with the usability of the sign up process and you can see my the 1/2 working site here.

There is of course Chi.mp too – but some how it feels a bit more like being tied to somewhere then actually owning your own domain (paying for it) and setting up the services under it.

The next level of interoperability and user-empowerment will be the way these systems map/document your online life and how they give you the data in a standard way when you leave their service to go to a different one.

I am hopeful these sites are the basis of what will become personal data stores that project VRM has brainstormed about and people/companies are developing.

UpDate: Wow and that was Post: 1000 for this blog!

ID Panel at SXSW

TWITTER HASH TAG FOR THIS PANEL
#sxswid

our handles
@identitywoman
@bobblakley
@etelos
@jsmarr

Panel Outline

1) Brief Intro

2) CONTEXT – 15 min
5m – looking back – enterprise IdM 101 – Bob Blakley
5m – SaaS is happening – Danny Kolke
5m – OpenID and Oauth

3) Discussion – 15-20min

4) Questions

LUNCH AFTERWARDS
we are heading over to Austin Iron Works to continue the conversation

http://idsxsw.eventbrite.com/

The next community event
INTERNET IDENTITY WORKSHOP
www.internetidentityworkshop.com

Internet Identity Workshop May 18-20

We have opened registration for the 8th Internet Identity Workshop! May 18-20th in Mountain View California.

There are a few things that are different this time around….

We have a shinny new website/blog!
Thanks to Mary Ruddy, Stas Zubalevich and Pam Dingle for helping make it happen.

We are using eventbrite to do registration – and we will be displaying the names of those who are registered.

We are asking questions as you register about what you hope accomplish /talk about at IIW and publishing them.

We have responded to the economic times and lowered the price for the first month of registration (a $50 discount for independents and a $75 for everyone else).

We have an early registration goal of 75 people by the end of the month.

We are starting on Monday morning with a hands on introduction to identity technologies and we will being participant generated sessions at 1pm on Monday.

Demo’s – community sharing of projects and products will happen on Tuesday afternoon.

We are being we have a sub theme that we are promoting - “what are the business models for identity” this is so that “business” oriented folks will attend and hopefully get some where answering this. (we might have some other explicit sub-themes we name as the workshop approaches and community members give feedback on key topics that are arising/need attention)

We will have a different venue for Tuesday night dinner!

Travel is cheaper then ever (so even though your budgets are lower you should be able to make it here for less).

The blog will have guest posts by community members leading up to the conference. (if you want to say something here just let me know)

We will have had the ID-Legal conference in April and will have a cool map of the gap between identity technologies and different legal lenses.

The same….
* We have blog badges for you to use in your posts – put on your blogs.

* We will have Monday night dinner at Tied House

* We will give community awards open style at the end of Wednesday. (if you want to be the wine/other gift buyer or donor let us know)

* The Avante (our conference hotel) will Rock!

Sense Making for Internet Identity

Eugene Kim has launched a Sense Making webinars to help people understand and act on complex, current topics related to collaboration.

The first one will be about Internet Identity and Gabe Wachob will be “coaching” it.

Digital identity has always posed unique social and technical challenges centered around security, privacy, and convenience. The Internet has made these challenges even more complex. The good news is that a number of new technologies are creating new opportunities for creating a secure and private Internet, where individuals are in control of their own data. This is a win-win scenario, because it creates new opportunities for service providers. The challenge is that this area is complex and rapidly changing.

Our coach, Gabe Wachob, will help you navigate this space quickly and act on this information intelligently. He will:

* Help you understand the challenges unique to Internet-scale digital identity and how these new technologies fit into Web 2.0 and the enterprise.
* Walk you through the alphabet soup of Internet Identity (from OpenID to Information Cards to oAuth and XRD), including how these technologies are being used, how they’re evolving, and what their practical limitations are today.
* Give you insight and access into the community that is developing these technologies, and explain how you can influence their evolution.
* Work with you on the aspects of Internet Identity that are most relevant to you.

If you are struggling to figure this stuff out – I recommend this offering.

OpenID Momentum continues

Dave posted today on the OpenID.net blog articulating the accomplishments of the past year.

I think it is important to acknowledge the significant progress OpenID as an Open Standard for persistent digital identity across the web has made. It is amazing to think how far it has come in 2.5 years since IIW1.

Recently I was talking with a person knowledgeable about the identity community and OpenID in particular – they mentioned that some of the conversations amongst those running for the board didn’t help the community look “good”. I said to them you know a lot of communities have elections and there is 6 board seats open and 6 people running for them – so there really isn’t a dialogue, public conversation that has texture (a different word for conflicting points of view). I celebrate a community that can dive in and engage with a range of points of view and really have a meaty dialogue. This is to be celebrated – the pains of growing up.

Wired just did a detailed article on OpenID’s and Blog commenting. It closed with this… NB: Before you race to point out the irony that this particular blog doesn’t support OpenID logins for comments, I can assure you — we’re working on it.

It also said this:


It’s easier for blogs, which don’t need a lot of demographic information about a user, to let people jump in and start participating socially without filling out a registration form. Major media properties and newspaper websites, on the other hand, want age and income data they can use to sell more targeted ads. OpenID and its companion technologies have mechanisms for sites to collect that data from their users, but those mechanisms are largely left out of the blog commenting systems.

It makes me sad to see this. I was just signing up for a topica list – it asked me for my gender the year I was born and my zip code. It is trying to figure out who I am. What I don’t think is well understood is how information sharing happens over time. Asking people to give away PII (personally identifying information) to look at a newspaper is bad practice and encourages lying.

Identity events of the year – Part 2

This is part 2 and continues from part 1. I will re post this caveat again.

I am not going to do a “top ten list” – not really my style. I tend to take things as they are and appreciate the amazing, wonderful, mysterious, sensuous, intellectually stimulating but don’t “compare” in a sort of ordered list way. So just so there is clarity on the number of things I mention I will “number” them but this is NOT a top ten list – I wrote this post as a reflection without thought to order.

(un5) The emergence of Portable Contacts was a great development out of the Data Sharing Events that I put on with Laurie. The conversation between Joseph and the MSFT guys (Indu and Angus) lead to this – sort of a practical low hanging fruit thing to do – rather then solve everything – just how to get the list of contacts I have in one place out and importable to another. Joseph’s community leadership has really impressed me to. He is all about getting things done and finding the needed elements to make things happen.

(un6) I have enjoyed watching Marc draw on his fence – yes he does this literally - and talk about his vision of the social web evolving. He “published” a book containing some of what he has been talking about. You can describe Marc as many things but I for one respect him as a visionary – ahead of his time in seeing where things will be going on the web and what will be needed. (You can see his predictions for 2009 here) Just as an example of something he said that really struck me as original and important to think about looking ahead – he talked about how groups need to live autonomously – outside any one platform or silo – and that we need a language of social verbs that are open and standard across them. Maybe some more people will “get” what Marc has been saying in this regard and some open standards can evolve to address this.

(un7) In a year end review it would be a mistake to not name the IDTBD conversation that happened this summer. You can read the whole thread of the e-mail conversation in the google group – it is public. There were in the end two different ways to look at how to organize (and I think they can complementary) one put organizational form and structure first and the other put relationship and community first and said that needed form and structure could emerge from that. In the middle of the conversation we were referred to Clay Shirky’s work – both this video about LOVE in technical communities and how it is very long lasting and sustaining and his book - the power of organizing without organization. (He also has another talk about Coordination Costs that is informative). Identity Commons is an organization being held together with many of the new super low cost tools that mean organizational overhead that was needed to organize people as organized as we are isn’t needed like it was 5-10 years ago. Having said this there is much to be improved and in the survey we sent out after IIW we asked about IC and the community wanted us to focus on supporting/providing better communication between groups and also increased PR/outside world awareness of the collaborative work happening in the community.

(un8) The OpenID Foundation part of the Identity Commons community held its first elections for the community seats on the board.

(un9) Information Card Foundation launched and is part of the community of Identity Commons. I have been quite impressed with the energy and evangelism of Charles Andres. (they too are using a low organizational overhead model for getting things done). I actually got a the Azigo card selector working on my Mac and downloaded a “managed” card from an early behind the scenes trial of CivicID. I also failed at getting an “I’m over 18 card from Equifax” – Actually the experience of their knowledge based authentication made me think my identity has been “stolen” it asked me about a bunch of loans I haven’t taken out. So now I have a bunch of personal identity detective work to do this year (I will be blogging about those adventures).

(un10) Parity Communications shipped some pretty amazing stuff and it has been a long time coming*. They are behind the Equifax I’m over 18 card issuing site using their service called Card Press for issuing information cards. (as an aside I “get the whole stock photo with people holding their hands in a card shape – but why the girl with no top on?)

* Some background I first talked to Paul Trevithic and Mary Ruddy in the winter of 2004 while working for Identity Commons I knew I had to go out and meet them – to learn what they were up to and hopefully link/sync it with what Owen, Andrew & Drummond&Co. were up to around user-centric identity. They were into Social physics along with John Clippinger and both Paul and John were at the 2004 Planetwork Conference.

Over all it was an amazing year and it seems that the coming year will continue to have this field evolve.

I am working hard on pulling together two events before the next IIW (May 18-20 – put it on your calendars). One is specifically focused on “What are the Business Models” we should have an announcement about that next week but the dates will be the last week of Feb.

The other is focused on the intersection of identity technologies and the legal realm – I am meeting face to face with Lucy Lynch from ISOC in Eugene this week to work on details for that.

The Identity Futures group continues to percolate along and is working on developing a proposal to do some scenario visioning/planning.

I am hoping to spend some more time thinking about and talking to women to understand more about their needs and practices around identity online. Just in the last week while organizing She’s Geeky (the women’s only tech conference happening at the end of January) two women have mentioned they have had online stalker experiences recently. Several also have very particular ways of presenting themselves one example is a woman who professionally they use their first initial and last name – when they submit resume’s etc and in their general life online/socially they use their First name and last initial – to ensure that they are not findable at least by an employer initially doesn’t know their full name and thus their gender.

Identity events of the year – Part 1

I am not going to do a “top ten list” – not really my style. I tend to take things as they are and appreciate the amazing, wonderful, mysterious, sensuous, intellectually stimulating but don’t “compare” in a sort of ordered list way. So just so there is clarity on the number of things I mention I will “number” them but this is NOT a top ten list – I wrote this post as a reflection without thought to order.

This morning while swimming I got to reflecting about the year in identity and it did seem appropriate to share some of them.

(un1) Bob’s Relationship paper (that I hope Burton Group will release into the world) was put forward in draft form at IIW#7 (2008a) and the Data Sharing Summit in May. It framed the problem of identity and articulated some missing pieces to the puzzle we are solving – supporting an identity layer emerge. He high lighted the fact that identity happens in the context of relationship and finding ways to document the terms and conditions in a relationship – making the relationship itself its own node and not just a line in a social graph. Since the paper is mostly been available to enterprise clients of the Burton Group and some folks in the identity community this missing piece – the node of relationship itself has not been taken up. I am hopeful it will emerge. I think some of what the Higgins project is proposing as an R-Card – a place to co-manage relationship data between two parties in a transaction could for fill this.

Update: I spoke with Bob since this post and Burton will be releasing this paper in Q1.

(un2) Facebook’s emergence as the dominant social networking service and this being the anti-pattern that the communities that I have been participating in for 6 years now had articulated was a danger that needed to be addressed preemptively with open standards that worked between silo’s.

(un3) Related to this – I am remember that summer at the invitational gathering at Hollyhock (a retreat center in Canada I love and I became the accidental poster child for) I got to meet with colleagues who lead workshops there some of whom I have known for years. They knew I was into the web and social things there – “digital identity” but this year they “got” more of what I was talking about. The reason was because of issues they themselves had – one had pictures and e-mails and other things the community had put forward around someone’s life threatening illness. They found they couldn’t get the data out. … it wasn’t there. People informally in conversations I overheard were kinda freeked out by the service (you need to remember that in Canada Facebook has incredibly high penetration into the lives of “normal” folks about 40% of all Canadians are on it – so more normal folks then in the US).

So back to the open standards working between sites – putting at least doors between walled gardens – it seems that finding the agreement and finding adoption of such open standards is difficult – or perhaps more to the point it is not a “high business priority” – it is easy to have a big network just grow and become the default. I think the efforts of the open stack community are noble and I hope they succeed. I also think they need to address some of the things that facebook messes up. These include mushing all my worlds together- (water polo from when I was in highschool, kindergarten class at school, water polo from college, water polo from the national team, highschool, elementary school 1, elementary school too, my process facilitator community, the identity community, the all the worlds I am in they are all FLAT – my social reality isn’t flat. People and the topics I am interested in at any one time come closer and go out father. I have divers interests and everyone I know is not interested in everything I do. I know this. I am not trying to “hide” anything or “be secret” I just want to respect the attention of my friends. I hope this nuanced social understanding can be grasped by someone building these tools. It is not that complex.

It may be that this kind of nuance will show up in smart clients. I am hopeful that this year there will be at least one for twitter. (I want to have two kinds of twitter friends – the ones that I read ALL their tweets (scrolling back to see what happened when I was not online) and those that i will watch passively when I happen to be online too.

(un4) TWITTER really broke on to the scene this year. I started tweeting because of Phil Windley’s comment about how it got him connected to his remote team – as a water cooler replacement – to know what they were up to in daily life (I had had an account for about a year before but hadn’t gotten into it). I was also at a talking heads forum on collaboration for a day in January and several friends were there who were tweeters so I did the laborious work of finding people to follow (back then there was no people search – you sort of found people by who you saw following people you knew).

I have several more thoughts about big things of the year. I will continue to write in the next few days. I am going to get back into blogging. These last 8 months since IIW#7 2008a I have had some rather significant personal life background noise. It is why I haven’t been writing or getting out much. So one of my resolutions for the year is to blog more.

It continues here with Part 2.

Identity and personal control on horizon in web 2.0 2009 predictions

Mary Hodder is one of the 8 experts Fast Company tapped to predict evolutionary trends for web 2.o in 2009:

Mary Hodder, Founder of Dabble.com and VP of Product Development, Apisphere

“The future of social media is user’s owning their data, deciding who to send it to. Look for more companies that currently host the user’s identity to have less control over that, as things like Open ID take over and more companies try to compete by giving users more control over themselves. Look for ways users can own their own data, and companies that might offer that, sort of like a personal information bank. The changes may seem subtle but I think we’ll see companies now, like Facebook, who try to be everything to you: your bank account for info, your identity, your tools for publishing, and your bar/restaurant for socializing, having to give up some of those roles or hold them less powerfully. And I don’t think it’s natural for one company to hold all that power. It leaves you with very little control over your online self.

Of course, Facebook will fight this to the last, so they won’t be the first to give up some of this control. Others will and eventually to compete Facebook will follow. But they are the great example of the problem.

The other big change will be in companies finally building for revenue in the social and any other space online, as they build for growth in their free or social products.”

She is clearly pointing to emergence of Vendor Relationship Management tools and also the possibility of information card technologies that give users more control along with OpenID and OAuth that are linking web 2.0 services. She highlights the ‘business model’ issue that still has not been figured out for social networks or for identity technologies. We are hoping to address some of this at a special session of Internet Identity Workshop focused just on business models this winter.

It should be noted that 5/8 experts tapped were women the other 4 are Charlene Li, Rebecca Moore, Susan Mernit & Tara Hunt.

Cybersecurity report covers Identity

Lucy Lynch posted this “The CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency ” to the ID-Legal e-mail list.

We are actually going to discuss it on our upcoming call along with figuring out our steward to Identity Commons. Lucy and I will be spending 2 days at the end of December face to face in Eugene planning strategy/execution/deliverables around having at least event in DC this winter/spring before the next IIW.

The CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency has released its final report, “Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency.” The Commissions three major findings are:

1. Cybersecurity is now one of the major national security problems facing the United States;

2. Decisions and actions must respect American values related to privacy and civil liberties; and

3. Only a comprehensive national security strategy that embraces both the domestic and international aspects of cybersecurity will improve the situation.”

There is a section on: Identity Management for CyberSecurity (page 67) that folks will want to read. CSIS is a Washington think tank, so this
is only advisory, but interesting to see some old models coming around again.

“CSIS was launched at the height of the Cold War, dedicated to the simple but urgent goal of finding ways for America to survive as a nation and prosper as a people. During the following four decades, CSIS has grown to become one of the nations and the worlds preeminent public policy institutions on U.S. and international security.”