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

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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.

 

 

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.

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Personal – a personal data service is LIVE!

It is a big day 11-11-11 for many reasons. One is that Personal emerged out of closed beta. Yeah!   When I first met and talked with Shane Green, I was so excited because I met a kindred spirit who shared core beliefs with the community around IIW (user-centric identity, VRM etc). I knew after spending 5 hours in 2 days talking to him that with his experience, personal leadership, and the funding they had already secured  (from Steve Case and others) that they were going to make a big splash when it finally launched.

As a bonus, the whole topic of Personal Data got coverage in AdAge yesterday mentioning both Personal and Reputation.com in an article:

Why Your Personal Data Is The New Oil

I think the biggest thing Personal has going for it its focus on design and usability.  Wire protocols (the technical bits of moving data and formatting it) are easy compared to how people can easily understand, interact with and manipulate the vast range of personal data they have, that is information which is personal TO them – not their tweets and photos that they proactively share, but all the “stuff” they should have a record of somewhere. Their car serial number, passport number, codes to garage doors for baby sitters and the kids allergies that need to be shared with playdates, school and the soccer team.

They are using OAuth, a key open standard, in their connectors linking information you have at one site to your personal vault in their store.

 

It is pretty simple when you get started.

1) You can add empty gems and fill them out.

2) You can share them with others… and also revoke permissions.

Anyone who sees a gem you have given access to has to agree to your “control” of the data and that when it is revoked they don’t keep a copy of it. They also can’t share it with others without your permission (you would give that other party access to your gem if you wanted to share with them). 

3) You can look for gems that have already been created by others about things they own or preferences/needs they have.

4) And get the mobile app.

Now that they have launched, I am going to dive in and start playing with gems and sharing relevant ones with friends and colleagues.

Other key items to note are the coming anonymity features they are planning on rolling out.

We believe strongly in your right to remain anonymous when you choose. At present, we only support remaining anonymous when publishing community gems, but will be rolling out new anonymity features in the very near future.

 

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).

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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”.

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The Trouble with Trust, & the case for Accountability Frameworks for NSTIC

There are many definitions of trust, and all people have their own internal perspective on what THEY trust.

As I outline in this next section, there is a lot of meaning packed into the word “trust” and it varies on context and scale. Given that the word trust is found 97 times in the NSTIC document and that the NSTIC governing body is going to be in charge of administering “trust marks” to “trust frameworks” it is important to review its meaning.

I can get behind this statement: There is an emergent property called trust, and if NSTIC is successful, trust on the web would go up, worldwide.

However, the way the word “trust” is used within the NSTIC document, it often includes far to broad a swath of meaning.

When spoken of in every day conversation trust is most often social trust.

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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.

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The Identity Spectrum

I published V1 of this in a post on my Fast Company blog about the government’s experiments with identity.
I did a more complete version for the opening talk of the Internet Identity Workshop

The Identity Spectrum gives a understanding of the different kinds of identity that are possible in digital systems. They are not exculsive – you can mix and match. I will define the terms below and discuss mixing and matching below.

Anonymous 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.

Socially Validated Identity is an identifier within the context of a social graph that is linked to and because of the social links it is acknowledged by others thus being socially validated

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.

Mixing and Matching on the Identity Spectrum
You could have a socially verified pseudonymous identity. That is people recognize and acknowledge a pseudonymous handle/avatar name by linking to it in a social graph. You can have verified anonymity where attributes about a handle/avatar are ‘verified’ but the all the information about the verified identity (full name, address, birthdate etc) is not reviled.

India says it will be creating National ID for Citizens

I found this last night on Slashdot – it was to important not to blog about. “India to Put All Citizen Info into Central Database

Reading the article in The Independent this stood out for me

The creation of the ID or Unique Identification Number (UID) was a major plank of the manifesto of the ruling Congress Party during the recent election.

India is not a western democracy where “everyone” has papers and certificates of birth. As the article highlights

“This could be used as a security measure by the government which leaves migrant workers, refugees and other stateless people in India in limbo, without access to public services, employment and basic welfare.”

Our identities don’t come from government – they come from our social interactions and relationships.

The other issue that comes from this is “everyone in one database” is a giant honey pot.

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!

Getting OpenID to work – when oh when?

Joseph Boyle who came to our identity panel at sxsw and then joined us for lunch has been sharing with me some of his OpenID challenges. These happen all the time – ALL THE TIME. Thing is – he is a tech guy and he still can’t get any of this to work. I asked him to document his challenges so I could share them with you – he sent this to me and O’Reilly tech folks (that was where he was trying to login)… I am hoping that these UI issues can be resolved soon.

I was going to sign up at:
https://en.oreilly.com/webexsf2009/user/account/signup/attendee#
and saw a Sign up with an OpenID option. Since I’m interested in OpenID, I thought I’d try to use an OpenID associated with one of my Yahoo or Google accounts, but this is proving more difficult than I expected.
I did manage to find Yahoo’s page for turning on OpenID support for my Yahoo account and did this, getting response:

Feeling geeky?
When you log in to a website that supports OpenID login we’ll send your OpenID identifier to the website so it can identify you.
To make things easy, we have generated this identifier for you:
https://me.yahoo.com/a/T_HpXDQkssQpI_sR……………………..
You don’t need to save this identifier. While logging in to websites, you can simply look for a Yahoo! button or typeyahoo.com in the OpenID text field. You can also choose additional custom identifiers for your Yahoo! account below.

Not geeky enough, apparently, as pasting the Yahoo-provided identifiers into your OpenID box gives errors:
Unable to find OpenID server for ‘https://me.yahoo.com/a/T_HpXDQkssQpI_sR…………………….’Unable to find OpenID server for ‘http://www.flickr.com/photos/josephboyle’
Help! What am I doing wrong? Thanks, Joseph Boyle

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

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 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.”

Finding Identity Projects in unexpected places

Two weekends ago I was in Austin Texas for the 4th National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation Conference. They hold their conference every 2 years and I have attended that last two. What was surprising this time was I actually found identity projects in the wild. I met Lou and Wayne (Lou is wearing black so he is from NY – Wayne is wearing the uniform from DC a suit ad tie.)

IMG_1373.JPG

Lou is working on CivicID (a project of Gateway to gov)- they do 3rd party constituent validation. The plan right now is to issue OpenID’s that can be used on different services. Because they get third party validation the idea is that legislators will listen to electronic communication more because they know it is from actual constituents. I asked if they would be issuing claims based information cards and he said yes they would get to that.

Wayne is working on the OPen Forum Foundation their first Project is to address communication difficulties between:

* Constituents: Are you happy with your ability to communicate with your elected officials and the people who make the decisions about your world?
* Government decision-makers and staff: Are you able to handle the inflow of emails, faxes, and phone calls from constituents and respond in the way that you would like?
* Advocacy Groups: Do you find it easy to express the voice of your members to their elected officials in a way that gets heard and is productive?

Two years ago I was at NCDD talking to the online deliberation guys explaining identity – this time there were several projects that all were aware of it at least.

Practical Evolution - this has gone through several evolutions and is being used in Australia.

Intellitics – Tim Bomans Company is working on Zilino

DeepDebate.org a project lead by Lucas Ciof is working on a system to help dive into different

Idealogue Inc. by Noam Shore is also doing online tools for civic engagement.

It was quite exciting to see all this activity Tim Erickson has a post on his blog with videos about three of them.

I had dinner both Friday and Saturday night with the tech guys :) – (Yes the first night I was the only woman at dinner and the second night one of two) I am hoping several of these guys come to IIW and share what they are working on.

Today I am headed to the Open Sustainability Network Camp and tomorrow to Bioneers (a conference I have been attending since 1999). I am hoping that I will be pleasantly surprised at both to find people doing interesting identity projects in the field.

I came to this field from a civil society perspective via my work with Planetwork. This does not mean however that I am anti-business or don’t care about the needs of large enterprises in this space. In the last several years I have come to appreciate how fundamentally essential their role is in making any of the original idealistic “user-centric” vision articulated in places like the ASN Paper happen. I also don’t think that business alone can get this layer to happen and without civil society engagement or uses it will take much longer. It is most definitely a both-and situation rather then an either-or.

I have often chosen to speak to the civil society perspective when I am in the community. There are already so many people who work at large enterprises and thinking about the business models. Perhaps this was a mistake because it may not be obvious how much I care about the business side of things. I CARE about it AND it is not all that matters. I am hoping in the next while to invite more people working day to day in the nonprofit, social and environmentally responsible business sector, advocacy groups and others to become more involved in the identity community. My finding of the projects at NCDD doing identity shows there is now a wider understanding of the use for identity and people beginning to experiment with application.

Identity – poem found in film.

I have often thought about how my work in this field has made me look at the world differently – I almost always have “identity” glasses on. I notice how people use the word. I notice when people talk about authentication and authorization, validation, verification and enrollment (often mixing all those all together or calling one something else).

Today I am watching a random Netflix movie that came (I have not been shepherding my que very well) It is called Notebook on Cities and Cloths – it is about a Japanese fashion designer. To my surprise it is opening with a poem by the film maker Wim Vinders – part way through well it turned to identity ….

“Identity”…
of a person,
a thing,
a place.

“Identity”.
The word itself gives me shivers.
It rings of calm, comfort, contentedness.
What is it, identity?
To know where you belong?
To know your self worth?
To know who you are?
How do you recognize identity?
We are creating an image of ourselves,
we are attempting to resemble this image…
Is that what we call identity?
The accord
between the image we have created
of ourselves
and … ourselves?
Just who is that, “ourselves”?

We live in the cities.
The cities live in us…
time passes.
We move from one city to another,
from one country to another.
We change languages,
we change habits,
we change opinions,
we change clothes,
we change everything.
Everything changes. And fast.
Images above all.

the recitation shifts into prose continues over the film as it begins….

On Identity and Collaboration

The article that Martin Richards was working about OpenID at the last IIW was finally published in Infomation Week One Web, One WebID. It summarized the confusion in the market well. My dad – who knows nothing about the space summarized the article well (the capital letters are his)

From the article it looks like there is quite a way to go before there is a more secure system that is both WIDELY adopted and VERY secure to everybody’s satisfaction.

I say in the article I am ever optimistic about things becoming clear and harmonized

All of these plans will one day fit together, says Kaliya Hamlin, a freelance identity consultant who organizes the biannual [sic] Internet Identity Workshop and maintains a primary hub for the identity community. At the moment, however, at least to the layman, they form a bewildering jigsaw with lots of unconnected pieces and no unifying design.

I also know that markets and communities are not things you control. We can bring order to this space and I hope to continue to do so with my efforts in this community.

I was thinking about about the evolution of the community and the world-view/cultural differences that we have among us. I went back to surf through some of what Meg Wheatly had online to see if there was something that captured the essence of the model of organization we are working with. I thought with her experience coming from the corporate sector and doing organizational development work in large fortune 500 companies and her research into now living systems work she might have some words that articulate the essence of what we are doing with this model.

These few lines particularly jumped out at me form this interview with her:

The real eye-opener for me was to realize how control and order were two different things, and that you could have order without control… To understand order that arises, rather than order that is imposed through direction and control — that is a very significant new path.

I realized that was what we were doing with the Identity Commons organizational model – supporting the emergence of order rather then trying to control what happens. The question we are trying to solve how to have an identity layer/framework/social norms/standards for the internet and other digital systems is a HUGE and complex problem. It has not been solved by control and won’t be. However creating a space for order and clarity to emerge – for self organizing around different ideas, ways of doing things – and resourcing collaboration, cooperation and harmonization efforts WILL get us there faster then not having that space.

The process of articulating to the community – what you want to do – and how you want to do it – this creates accountability. This helps us see ourselves and what is going on in the community through the simple light weight formal processes and with these processes order emerges.

From the conversation today I articulated some further clarity. The whole point of having a loose collaborative space with a shared brand is to support stuff innovating not having the big corporations playing in the space approve every use of the Brand.

It is to support ideas bubbling and percolating and not feeling like one group or company needs to control that other group over there does or might do in the name of the organization.

In a group/organization agreeing to participate in Identity Commons, that group is making a commitment to collaborate and share information. Agreeing to participate one does not have to “AGREE” to all uses of the brand. In fact THE BRAND IS ABOUT THE COMMITMENT TO COLLABORATION and sharing along with a “meta’ out there future vision we do agree on but as we struggle to get there we KNOW we will might not agree. What we do agree on is a shared set of VALUES that are striving to be part of the technologies being built along with a recognition that as technologists that there is a scope and dimension of identity that goes well beyond “tech” because it is about people and our social nature.

Identity Commons was founded to provide this kind of support for a community of collaborating projects across a range of disciplines and not to be an industry trade association or a technical standards body.

Net Squared Talk about Identity

Last week I presented at the Net Squared Conference they have a focus on ‘remixing the web for social change’ – it was fun to be invited to speak at the event by the “Jon Steward Famous” Susan Tenby(she was on the show for her testimony in front of congress about her role as the head of the Nonprofit Commons in Second LIfe – in her testimony she said her Avatar name Gliteractitca Cookie – and well this fun identity fact was what got her on John Stewart).

SlideShare | View | Upload your own

There was great live bloging coverage of my on the Net Squared blog posted by Brenda that you can read along with while you watch.

Identity Futures Dinner in South Bay Tonight

Sorry for this late notice on the blog but I just figured out where we are eating.

At the Internet Identity Workshop 2 weeks ago one of the session was about the Identity Futures work that we started last fall. We went over the events that we developed – see here.

John Kelly my collaborator developing them and those exercises couldn’t make IIW and we had a corum of folks who were in centered in the South Bay so we are having a meeting this evening over indian food to talk about next steps for this work.

If you are interested in this you are most welcome to attend. We are meeting at

We are meeting at 6 PM at Heritage of India 167 S Main St, Milpitas, CA 95035

PLEASE RSVP to me kaliya (at) Mac.com

Identity Talk at Net Squared Year Three

Here are the relevant links from my talk on Identity at Net Squared.

US, Our Organizations and The Web: Leveraging Identity Tools for Collaboration

Why is user-centric Digital Identity Important?
Augmented Social Network: Building Identity and Trust into the Next Generation Internet 2003, Ken Jordan, Jan Hauser, Steven Foster.

OpenID
OpenID

Data Linking

Standards
XRI Wikipedia at OASIS
XDI Wikipedia at OASIS

Companies
Strong Eye
Kintera & XDI
GoLightly
ooTao

i-cards
Identity Blog – Kim Cameron MSFT Identity Architect
Higgins Project at Eclipse
OSIS – Open Source Identity Systems (interop work with over 50 companies and projects)

Vendor Relationship Management
Project VRM at the Berkman Center, Harvard

Collaboration Community for the Evolving Identity and Relationship Layer
Identity Commons

EVENTS I INVITE YOU TO
Vendor Relationship Management Workshop
July 10-12, Boston

Internet Identity Workshop #7
November 10-12, Mountain View
Data Sharing Summit #3
September?


BONUS RESOURCES

Identity Community Foundational Resources

Laws of Identity

OECD Paper: At the Crossroads: Personhood and Digital Identity in the Information Society

Additional White Papers of Interest

Accountable Net: Peer Production of Internet Governance

Appropriating Technology for Social Change

Movement as Network

Network Centric Advocacy 2003

Simple Open Standards you can adopt now
OAuth
Microformats
XRDS – Simple
Open Social