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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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.

NSTIC Response by Identity Woman

Context for my response to the NSTIC Governance NOI

Table of Contents to Blog Posts of My Response

My Complete Response in PDF form Kaliya-NSTIC-NOI

Introductory Letter of the Response.

Context for my NSTIC NOI response

I surprised myself when writing my response to the NSTIC (National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace)  Governance NOI (Notice of Inquiry).  I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to say because the questions seemed like they were way ahead of where they should be interms of where things were.  I decided to begin by sharing important Context, Frames and Terms that were important before getting to the Questions of Governance and what should be done now.

I began with the word Ecosystem – what it meant and that a system was at the heart of this strategy not something simple or easily actionable.

I touched on the history of the Identity Community and how much conversation and intensive dialogue happened amongst that early community to get to a place where collaboration was natural and “easy”. A huge amount of effort went into developing shared language and understanding then and this is needed once again.  The range of self identified stakeholders for NSTIC is quite large (the range of not self identified stakeholders it could be said is everyone on the planet or at least all those with a digital connection (via phone or interent).

I put forward two different methods/tools/processes that could be used to form shared language and understanding across this stakeholder community Polarity Management and Value Network Mapping.

I suggest that the governance structure proposed a “steering group” actually have a mandate to regularly listen to and act on the recommendations of the system that are generated via 3 different well established dialogic processes (Creative Insight Council, World Cafe and Open Space Technology [What we use at IIW]. I then answer the NOI questions referencing the ideas above.

I am going to be posting the whole of my Response in a series of posts and linking them all from there.

I began with one earlier last week which is focused on “trust” both as an emergent property of the overall system AND as the current name of technology and policy/legal frameworks for identity creation.


Links to NSTIC Response Posts:

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IIWX Internet Identity Workshop 10, Introductory Talk

I gave this talk at the 10th Internet Identity workshop reviewing the shared history, language, understanding and work we have done together over the last 6 years of community life.

Part of this presentation touched on a timeline of events in the community. Those and more are reflected on this timeline that is beginning to be developed here. IIW11 will be November 9-11 in Mountain View, CA The first ever IIW outside the Bay Area will be happening September 9-10 in Washington DC following the Gov 2.0 Summit with the theme Open Identity for Open Government. The first IIW in Europe will be happening in London likely October 9-10 (dates still to be confirmed) prior to RSA Europe. If you would like to know about when the next IIWs have registration open please join this announce list. TheIdentity Gang is the community mailing list where conversations are ongoing about identity. You can follow modest updates about IIW on twitter via our handle – @idworkshop You can see IIW 10 attendees on our registration page.

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

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.”

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.

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.

You know your conference is to cheap when…

You know your conference is to cheap when other conferences offer you $200 discounts to register EARLY and yours only costs $200.

In case you missed it the Internet Identity Workshop has an announcement up and registration is open. Phil and I implore you to PLEASE register early so we know how many of you are coming.

We subtly softened our language about “user-centric identity” to take into account that there is some concern that this might be going to far in one direction and it may be that the parameters of the relationship in the middle is where the focus needs to be.

The Internet Identity Workshop focuses on what has been called user-centric identity. Basically asking the question how can people manage their own identity across the range of websites, services, companies and organizations that they belong to, purchase from and participate with. IIW is a working meeting for a range of groups focused on the technical, social and legal issues arising with the emergence identity, relationship and social layer of the web.

I think this year Identity as a service will make a strong appearance. Companies like Symplified are doing interesting things that have application in the enterprise market first but could have usefulness on the consumer side maybe sooner then we think.

More from the announcement:
As a community we have been exploring these kinds of questions:

  • How are social networking sites and social media tools applying user-centric identity? (this is the question I am interested in knowing more about. How is it working now that you can actually implement some of this stuff – it is not just big ideas any more)
  • What are the open standards to make it work? (identity and semantic)
  • What are technical implementations of those standards?
  • How do different standards and technical implementations interoperate?
  • What are the new social norms and legal constructs needed to make it work?
  • What tools are needed to make it usably secure for end-users?
  • What are the businesses cases / models that drive all this?

Our event is highly participatory anyone who wants to present can do so. The agenda is made all together on Tuesday morning. We do this unconference style – for those who have not yet been you can read what community leaders have said about the effectiveness of the format.

If you are NEW please come to Monday’s introductory session starting at 1pm. If you have attended before it is worth coming to get the latest updates on where things are.

Yes it is CHEAP – $200 if you are an independant, and $350 if you come from a corporateion. You get all your meals paid for (healthy food – some say the best ever conference food).

If you want to come and you can’t afford it – talk to us – we want you there if you want to be there.

If you are an Identity blogger and have been to IIW PLEASE blog about this one coming up. We also have a blog sidebar logo you an put up.

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Identity Books Arrive

So I had two book shipments arrive today – i thought I would share them in case any of you out there also are reading or hope to read these books soon. Let me know.

From AMAZON today came

Identity and Control: How Social Formations Emerge, Second Edition by Harrison C. White.
This one was recommended by the Value Networks mailing list that I am on. It dives into the construction of sociocultural context. Chapter one is titled Identities and Control. Should be good.

I am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter (author of Godel, Escher, Bach) This one was recomended to my by Scott David at lunch when I met him in Seattle recently. A mutual friend introduced us five months ago in e-mail. He is a lawyer based in Seattle and participating in the ID-Legal group . The book asks the question “What do we mean when we say “I”?

I got three books that I hope will be useful in gaining some more skills/tools for communicating about identity topics.

Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with PICTURES by Dan Roam

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds (I saw him present at SlideShare recently.

and
Indexed (the space betwen short, nerdy and oddly attractive) by Jessica Hagy (her blog) – think Hugh MacLeod but with diagrams on index cards rather then cartoons on the back of business cards.

Books I bought in Boston and shipped home arrived :)

Buckminster Fuller:Staring with the Universe is the catalogue from the Whitney Museum exhibit about him. This gets to our identity as beings on spaceship earth in the universe.

Uniforms: Why we are what we where by Paul Fussel

Ok these’s don’t exactly have to do with identity but they are fun – and besides “you are what you eat” right?
Slow Food: why our Food should be Good, Clean and Fair by Carlo Petrini – it is a translation of his manifesto originally in italian – this weekend happens to be Slow Food Nation

On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening Without Boundaries by Richard Reynolds.

Last week Cody’s Books was closing in Berkeley. The bank of the company that owned the store recalled the loans. The store closed about 6 weeks ago and sat there with all the books inside. Then 2 weeks ago they sold all those remaining books at 40% off.

I got four Identity related books

Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption, Updated and Expanded Edition (2007) by Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau.
Less Safe, Less Free: Why Americans are Loosing the War on Terror by David Cole and Jules Lobel

Who’s Watching You? The Chilling Truth about the State Surveillance, and Personal Freedom by Mick Farren and John Gibb

and

cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity and Identity on the Internet by Lisa Nakamura. (cybertypes is her updated word for stereotypes that appear on in the context of cyberspace).

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

Identity Commons Q1 2008 Report. DONE!

I am excited that our second set of “official” quarterly reports as been wrangled, compelled, edited and published on the IC blog and in PDF format. If you are wondering what all is happening in the communities work on user-centric identity technology this is the one thing to read and the best part is it is updated very three months. We welcome new groups joining the communityit is a simple process.

We are a community of groups working on addressing the social, legal and technical issues that arise with the emerging, identity, data and social layer of the internet.

Highlights from Q1 2008 Reports

The 6th Internet Identity Workshopis coming up May 12-14, immediately followed by a Data Sharing Summit.

The OpenID Foundation had 5 corporate members join the board – Google, Verisign, Microsoft, Yahoo and IBM. OpenID Japan was founded and guidelines for local chapters are being developed.

OSIS Open Source Identity Systems is working towards the completion of its third major Interop event (at RSA and the European Identity Conference) with 57 projects participating.

XRI 2.0 will be going to a vote within OASIS shortly.

Higgins 1.0 was released on Feb 21st.

Project VRMis leading a 1.5 day workshop at the European Identity Conference and has an active London Chapter. Work continues on the initial text case Personal Address Management

New Groups of Note:

Enterprise Positioning is a community of people inside enterprises who need to understand and explain the application of user-centric identity in that context. page 10

IC Evangelism and Marketing began to help develop clearer messaging for Identity Commons and develop a values statement. page 8

Newbies 4 Newbies have given invaluable feedback on the language used to articulate user-centric identity, helping to improve the Internet Identity Workshop announcement significantly. If you are new to User-Centric Digtial Identity – wondering what they heck is all this stuff – what do these acronyms mean – this is the group for you. page 10

The Photo Group started with three groups on Flickr 1) Identerati Portraits, 2) The Art of Identity and 3) Member Gallery with the photos they have taken. page 11

The Quiet Groups:
IC Collaborative Tools
XDI Commons
Identity Schema
Identity Rights Agreements
Identity Futures
IdMedia Review

PDF of Report

Identity Commons Explainitory Diagram

I worked on this diagram of Identity Commons for a few hours last night. I hope it does a good job of getting across our loose distributed yet connected nature. Please let me know if you have ideas to improve it.

Someone already mentioned that “standards” is perhaps a challenging word – maybe it should be changed to “protocols”. Lets be clear IC is NOT a standards body never intended to be – goal help connect efforts together in a loose non-controling way that facilitates collaboration.

On OpenID Progress: Part of a Bigger Challenge of Identity on the Web

TechCrunch just did a post about OpenID asked if it was being exploited by the large internet players that are participating in the community and adopting it.


I recall the first Internet Identity Workshop when the small crowd of ‘light weight’ ‘open’ ‘distributed’ SSO efforts came together and started their conversation about how they shared goals and very similar technology ideas – it was just the little guys.

Some context for those of you who don’t know this event was and continues to be co-convened and produced by myself, Doc Searls and Phil Windley - we are having our 6th stand alone workshop May 12-14 we also have also done 4 co-produced Identity Open Space events with Digital Identity World and Liberty Alliance near events that have had. This series of events that have no pre-set agenda in the past 2.5 years have been instrumental in moving the whole range of technologies forward because it creates “opportunities for both innovators and competitors, for the big guy and the small fry to come together in a safe and balanced space.” The Data Sharing Workshop and 2nd Summit – being done in collaboration with the more recently emergent DataPortability.org are building on both
* the track record of the IIW in bringing together high level people in a range of companies trying to tackle the difficult problems that need to be solved to make the vision a reality and
* the technology (standards and code) that are being brought forward via the I
dentity Commons community.

They agreed to Yadis a common service discovery method that would help their slightly different approaches work behind the scenes and then decided that Yadis as not such a good brand name and that is should be folded in and called OpenID.

These little guys had big hopes that OpenID would get adoption by large companies. It has been truly amazing to watch over the past two years as this collaboration that was cultivated by a community conversation has continued over the course of the Internet Identity Workshops – we are having our 6th one this May.

This space has been a neutral haven for all to express their views opinions and interest in different technological approaches. The Data Sharing Workshop and Summit build on this successful tradition and stack of technologies – it is the space where those inspired by the vision of data portability can get down into the details and make it real. Back to the TechCruch post:

The problem, though, is that the Big Four Internet companies that I mentioned above have made big press announcements about their support for OpenID, but haven’t done enough to actually implement it.

I agree with this statement AND there is some deeper issues that have yet to be addressed by the protocol itself to enable large sites to ‘trust’ (in the technical sense that the protocol flow will do what is says and can not be attacked) it. OpenID can be attacked from all sides (blackHat paper PDF outlining them). Bob Blakley from the Burton Group articulates the issues well here. David Recordon responded to a long critique of Stefan’s about the protocol. I think there is the potential to solve these issues but just ‘targeting’ the big players without addressing the real technical and social issues that are inhibiting large scale adoption is not fair.

Chris Mesina puts forward an in depth post articulating a shitlist, hitlist and wishlist around OpenID along with an update.

Great list highlighting things but it does not get to the heart of what in-the-end are the issues both technological and social that could limit adoption as ‘the’ solution to all that is needed for a people empowering identity layer of the web.

I look at all the progress happening in the Identity Commons community (here is our previous quarter’s reports) and have hope that solutions will emerge to address these challenges an “identity meta system” to work

* making it safe for users by making phishing really easy to prevent (this is where the card selector tools come in – CardSpace (MSFT) and the Higgins Open Source Card Selector (IBM, Parity, Novell-Bandit Project) Pamela Project relying party code)

* supporting selective and progressive disclosure (is done in a user friendly/repeatable way with cards)

* finding equitable legal frameworks and agreements for personal information sharing (Identity Rights Agreements Group is working on this and a gathering is being organized for this summer to address their development – many hundreds of thousands of legal work is needed to make this real)

* supporting automatic syncing and updating of information (this is where XRI/XDI and the Higgins Framework comes in)

* having third parties that mediate between end-users, their information and the market. (Yet to emerge businesses with new trust and business models – Project VRM is working on some of this).

OpenID is one part of a cluster of solutions – it will not solve these problems by itself (no matter how strong ‘they community’ or ‘the grassroots pressure’ because it is not sophisticated enough a protocol to do so. Those serious about really having these challenges address are invited to participate in the community and those who want to report on progress around an identity layer of the web need to look beyond ‘just OpenID’ and explore other proposed and emerging solutions that will together create an identity layer for web.

One great place to do this is at the upcoming OSIS (Open Source Identity Systems) Interop Event happening at RSA.
If you are reading this – you are interested but it is all making your head spin we have a Newbies 4 Newbies group that you can join and get peer-to-peer support from others engaging with this material (all or parts of it) for the first time.

Newbies 4 Newbies Call Tomorrow

If user-centric identity, the identity meta-system, identity commons and all this stuff is confusing.

You are wading through all this content on these blogs and wikis and going “AHHH! I just want someone to explain it.”

Well we have the group for you!

Newbies 4 Newbies formed not to be “experts” explaining it to new folks but instead to support new people sharing with each other resources that they found helpful and to challenge the ‘older’ members of the community to better explain things.

The group has a mailing list and is having its 2nd conference call tomorrow :) Newbies are welcome :) Click on their wiki page for details – call number to be posted shortly both there and on the mailing list.

Keen attacks the “identity dog’s” right to exist.

In my home town paper the headline was Disconnect 1st Amendment from Internet hatemongers. The LA times version was Douse the Online Flamers: Faceless Internet sadists who ruin reputations don’t deserve full free-speech protection. Written by Andrew Keen the Cult of the Amateur guy – who wrote the book to get attention and blogs himself .

It begins with our little friend the “identity dog“.

THE CARTOON isn’t as amusing as it once was. “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” one Web-surfing canine barked to another in that 1993 classic from the New Yorker. Back then, of course, at the innocent dawn of the Internet Age, the idea that we might all be anonymous on the Web promised infinite intellectual freedom. Unfortunately, however, that promise hasn’t been realized. Today, too many anonymous Internet users are posting hateful content about their neighbors, classmates and co-workers; today, online media is an increasingly shadowy, vertiginous environment in which it is becoming harder and harder to know other people’s real identities.

It goes into depth about several cases where anonymous online speech was harmful to people online.
And ends with him too..

All three of these cases indicate that the U.S. Supreme Court soon might need to rethink the civic value of anonymous speech in the digital age. Today, when cowardly anonymity is souring Internet discourse, it really is hard to understand how anonymous speech is vital to a free society. That New Yorker cartoon remains true: On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. But it is the responsibility of all of us — parents, citizens and lawmakers — to ensure that contemporary Web users don’t behave like antisocial canines. And one way to achieve this is by introducing more legislation to punish anonymous sadists whose online lies are intended to wreck the reputations and mental health of innocent Americans.

I just finished reading Daniel Solove the Future of Reputation.
It goes in to great detail about the different forms that violations of privacy and reputation can happen and what the law has had to say about it.

One of the most important things to remember is that Virtue of Anonymity this is covered on page 139 of the chapter on Free Speech, Anonymity and Accountability (PDF).

The saga ofArticle III Groupie demonstrates how easy it seems to be anonymous on the Internet. A person can readily create a blog under a pseudonym or can post anonymous comments to blogs or online discussion groups. According to a survey, percent ofbloggers use pseudonyms rather than their real identities. Anonymity can be essential to free speech. As the Supreme Court has noted: “Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress ofmankind. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all.”60 Anonymous speech has a long history as an important mode of expression.

Between 1789 and 1809, six presidents, fifteen cabinet members, twenty senators, and thirty-four congressmen published anonymous political writings orused pen names. It was common for letters to the editor in local newspapers to be anonymous. Ben Franklin used more than forty pen names during his life. Mark Twain, O. Henry, Voltaire, George Sand, and George Eliot were all pseudonymous authors. Indeed, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay published the Federal Papers under the pseudonym Publius. Their opponents, the Anti-Federalists, also used pseudonyms.62
Anonymity allows people to be more experimental and eccentric without risking damage to their reputations.63Anonymity can be essential to the presentation ofideas, for it can strip away reader biases and prejudices and add mystique to a text. People might desire to be anonymous because they fear social ostracism or being fired from their jobs. Without anonymity, some people might not be willing to express controversial ideas. Anonymity thus can be critical to preserving people’s right to speak freely.

He goes on to talk about the problems that non-accountable anonymous speech can create.

One page 148 he gets to Balancing Anonymity and Accountability. It covers “John Doe” Law suits and the Issues around Section 230 immunity – that ISP’s and other hosters like Yahoo! or even me on my blog are not responsible for what others say in online spaces we provide. The and cases that Keen points to are the result of the failing to find a way to apply Section 230 immunity well.

Solove proposes asks “What Should the Law Do?”

Although existing law lacks nimble ways to resolve disputes about speech and privacy on the Internet, completely immunizing operators of websites works as a sledgehammer. It creates the wrong incentive, providing a broad immunity that can foster irresponsibility. Bloggers should have some responsibilities to others, and Section 230 is telling them that they do not. There are certainly problems with existing tort law. Lawsuits are costly to litigate, and being sued can saddle a blogger with massive expenses. Bloggers often don’t have deep pockets, and therefore it might be difficult for plaintiffs to find lawyers willing to take their cases. Lawsuits can take years to resolve. People seeking to protect their privacy must risk further publicity in bringing suit.

These are certainly serious problems, but the solution shouldn’t be to insulate bloggers from the law. Unfortunately, courts are interpreting Section 230 so broadly as to provide too much immunity, eliminating the incentive to foster a balance between speech and privacy. The way courts are using Section 230 exalts free speech to the detriment ofprivacy and reputation. As a result, a host ofwebsites have arisen that encourage others to post gossip and rumors as well as to engage in online shaming. These websites thrive under Section 230’s broad immunity.

The solution is to create a system for ensuring that people speak responsibly without the law’s cumbersome costs. The task ofdevising such a solution is a difficult one, but giving up on the law is not the answer. Blogging has given amateurs an unprecedented amount ofmedia power, and although we should encourage blogging, we shouldn’t scuttle our privacy and defamation laws in the process.

He concludes

FREEDOM ON BOTH SIDES OF THE SCALE
Words can wound. They can destroy a person’s reputation, and in the process distort that person’s very identity. Nevertheless, we staunchly protect expression even when it can cause great damage because free speech is essential to our autonomy and to a democratic society. But protecting privacy and reputation is also necessary for autonomy and democracy. There is no easy solution to how to balance free speech with privacy and reputation. This balance isn’t like the typical balance ofcivil liberties against the need for order and social control. Instead, it is a balance with liberty on both sides ofthe scale—freedom to speak and express oneselfpitted against freedom to ensure that our reputations aren’t destroyed or our privacy isn’t invaded.

As I have tried to demonstrate in this chapter, a delicate balance can be reached, but it is not an easy feat. In many instances, free speech and privacy can both be preserved by shielding the identities ofprivate individuals involved in particular stories. With the Internet, a key issue for the law is who should be responsible for harmful speech when it appears on a website or blog. Much speech online can be posted by anybody who wants to comment to a blog post or speak in an online discussion forum. Commentators can cloak themselves in anonymity and readily spread information on popular blogs and websites. The law currently takes a broadly pro–free speech stance on online expression. As a result, it fails to create any incentive for operators ofwebsites to exercise responsibility with regard to the comments ofvisitors.

Balancing free speech with privacy and reputation is a complicated and delicate task. Too much weight on either side ofthe scale will have detrimental consequences. The law still has a distance to go toward establishing a good balance.

Andrew Keen is an ‘attention seeker’ (I had a ruder phrase in here but thought better then to publish it)- he is writing to be provocative, get attention and called upon to play the role of the ‘other side’ in a community that is experimenting with a range of forms of openness that challenge traditional or entrenched ‘expertise, authority and hierarchy’. Those threatened by emergence of power via new technologies ‘like’ what Andrew has to say. I think it is irresponsible for Andrew to call to the end of the First Amendment’s protection of Anonymous speech online because some small percentage of people are hurt by this – clearly there needs be some evolution in the law and the practices that we have to balance privacy and freedom.

What the Heck is Identity Commons?

The purpose of Identity Commons is:

The purpose of Identity Commons is to support, facilitate, and promote the creation of an open identity layer for the Internet — one that maximizes control, convenience, and privacy for the individual while encouraging the development of healthy, interoperable communities.

This one sentence jams a lot into it – we tried to do that so the purpose didn’t go on and on – but was clear, broad and inclusive of the range of issues that need to be addressed and balanced. Jamming so much into that one sentence also creates a challenge – it has to be ‘parsed’ quite a bit to get what it all means. I worked with Chris Allen recently to separate out the values within the purpose and our community. This is our initial draft that is still evolving (wordsimthing suggestions are welcome).

We believe in the dignity of human individual in the context of the digital world.

In order to make this true we strive for a balance of factors and valuesas digital systems and tools evolve:

  • Individual control, convenience & privacy
  • Sharing of information when participating in community
  • Support for commercial and non-commercial exchange
  • Interoperability and openness between systems

We work to bring these values into practice by fostering a collaborative a community of individuals, organizations and companies share these values and are working together towards practical technical implementations.

We share a pragmatic idealism.

We work to practice what we preach and have openness and transparency in what we do.

We do know there are a lot of technical social and legal issues that arise and Identity Commons is a space that make it possible to in a non-directive non-hierachical way address them in a collaborative way.

We also have some shared principles mostly concerning how we organize ourselves and work together. Each has a sentence to articulate it further.

1. Self-organization
2. Transparency
3. Inclusion
4. Empowerment
5. Collaboration
6. Openness
7. Dogfooding

What the heck is an “open identity layer” – well we don’t exactly know but we do have a community that has come together some shared understanding and continue to ‘struggle’ with what it means and how it should work. Identity Commons provides a ‘common’ space to work on this shared goal by facilitating dialogue and collaboration.

Kim Cameron introduced the terminology “identity meta-system” and articulated what that might mean. The Laws of Identity were put forward by him along with some additional ideas by other community members.

There is no “decider” or group of deciders or “oversight committee” as part of Identity Commons ‘directing’ the development of the “open identity layer”.

We are a community collaborating together and working to exchange information about our independent but related efforts working towards the vision. The way we do this is via the working group agreement.

  1. Asking each working group to articulate its purpose, principles and practices by filling out a charter – this helps us be clear about how different groups work and what they do/are planning on doing
  2. Stewards review proposed working group charters – ask questions, consider were there are synergies, and see if they are aligned with the purpose and principles
  3. A vote of the stewards council is held
  4. Working Groups agree to report quarterly on their activities to remain active as groups of the organization – this also is our core ‘inter group communication mechanism – so that you don’t have to be on 20+ mailing lists to know what is going on in the community.

More about Stewards:
Each working group has one steward and an alternate for the stewards council.

The stewards are responsible for the things IC holds in common – the brand and its integrity and common assets (like the wiki and bank account). It does not ‘direct things’.

Stewards have (an optional) monthly phone calls and discuss and make decisions on a mailing list (that anyone can join).

More about Working Groups:
There are working groups within Identity Commons that support the community collaborating – the stewards council does not ‘run’ these groups but they serve the community and our efforts together- The Internet Identity Workshop, IC Collaborative Tools, Idnetity Futures, Id Media Review, Identity Gang, Marketing and Evangelism.

Working Groups come in several forms:
They can be an group of people with a passion to address something they feel needs to be addressed to get to the big vision. They want some wiki space and a mailing list to talk about the issues. Examples include Enterprise Positioning, Inclusive Initiatives, Identity Rights Agreements.

They can be an existing project that are part of a larger organization, Higgins is an example of this – they are a project of the Eclipse Foundation.

They can be something that grew out of conversations in the Identity Commons community and found a home within another organization like Project VRM (charter) has as part of the Berkman Center and will likely become its own ‘organization’ independent of Berkman by the end of the year.

They can be completely independent nonprofit organizations with their own boards, governance, bank account etc. examples include XDI.org and OpenID.

Some just get technical stuff done as part of IC like OSIS (doing its 3rd Interop at RSA in a month), and Identity Schemas.

Benefits to being explicitly a part of the IC Community.

clarity about each groups purpose, principles, and practices – so that collaboration is easier.

sharing of information via the collaborative tools and lists, along with the required quarterly reporting,

We “don’t know” what an identity layer looks like but we do know it needs to have certain properties to make it work for people the extensible nature of IC gives people the freedom to start a new group that addresses an aspect of the vision. This is the page on the IC wiki that explains our organizational structure.

We are a community.
We are a community more then “an organization” and joining does not mean subsuming a group identity under IC but rather stating a commitment to a shared vision, common values and commitment to collaboration.

A touch of formalism can help create great clarity of group pratices (governenace), leadership, intention, and focus. Not needed for small groups of 12 people doing one thing- helpful when you scale to the 1000’s of people working on the big vision. IC through its groups structure has 1000’s of people participating helping to innovate the technology and think about the social and legal implications.

We are not about “a solution” or “a blue print” there will be multiple operators and multiple standards – yes like the web there may one day be ‘standard’ that emerges just like TCP/IP did and HTML/HTTPS – however it is way to early to promote or be behind “one” thing, it is not to early to start collaborating and building shared meaning and understanding and interoperability between emerging efforts.

Identity problems in the digital realm are as much about technical issues as they are about the social implications and legal issues. Identity Commons explicitly makes space for the social and legal issues to be deal with in relationship to the technologies as it evolves.

In closing there is a background (shorter) and a history (longer) written about the community as it evolved.

IC and Data Portability

Here are some question asked in a recent conversation on the dataportability.org lists about IC along with my responses.

Maybe the Identity commons should be trying to set boundaries as being purely about identity?

An “open identity layer” that touches so much and there needs to be a “common space” to nash through the vastness of the problem – to deal with the technical, social and legal issues around people sharing their information in community and business contexts. We have this ultra extensible form and broad purpose to enable this to happen – there is “no committee in charge” no “one” or “company” or “group” is deciding what we “do” – we are a loose conglomeration that shares vision and values. Working independently but connectedly and commited to collaboration. It It is an ‘unconventional’ model that that is working to supposed and connect diverse conversations and technical efforts together.

Can we instead resolve that we promise to incorporate any decisions made by Identity commons as being part of our blueprint?

There are no “decisions made by Identity Commons” read our principles – we are a cluster of working groups that work independently.

Your blueprint (as a side note why there is still ‘one blueprint’ and not ‘blueprints’ plural at the very least or preferably ‘reference implementations’ in the plural form is still a mystery to me) will likely draw on tech stuff groups in IC have been working on for a while. Why not be a part of the ‘commons’ that they are a part of?

My perception of IDCommons is that it’s about Identity, and in your words, interoperable user-centric identity.

Most of the people who have been involved for the past several years got involved to help people have control of their ‘data’ – their identity the informatoin about them is part of what composes their identity. they didn’t get involved to ‘invent’ an identifier layer that didn’t “do” anything

I see DataPortability being about data sharing (in a technical sense)Identity is clearly a very important part of that but I don’t see much at all on IDCommons about data sharing. It’s as though DP has a wider scope of which IDCommons is a major part.
The exceptions to this view are

  • Identity Schemas group
  • Photo Group
  • Data Sharing group

None of which seem to have much activity.

* OpenID has attribute exchange and Discovery in it – all about data sharing.
* Higgins & Bandit and the Pamela project ALL about infrastructure for card based tools that are all about data sharing for people.
* Project VRM all about how to create a new industry model to revolutionaize CRM and put individuals in charge of their data in radical new ways when relating to companies they do business with.
* I-brokers – their job is to stor data about people and have it be trusted.
* IRA – Identity Rights Agreements – all about how we create human understandable terms of service and norms in this area (it is a huge project and has interested folks but really needs a multi hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal work to ‘do it’).
* XRI and XDI two standards with roots in IC all about data sharing that can be applied to both peoples personal data and other forms of data that have nothing to do with people.
* OSIS is the Open Source Identity System and having its 3rd Interop event at RSA (The major security conference) in April with over 200 tests between relying parties, identity providers and (user-agents) card selectors. this group is ‘only’ a working group of IC (it does not have its own independent legal entity/or affiliation with another one as a project). People moving data around is what all this card stuff is about.

So. I am not sure where we have groups that are not in some way focused on this problem area.

DP is just the latest in a long line of initiatives that recognises the same underlying problem but none of the previous initiatives have captured mind share or really got traction.

Our goal is not to ‘capture [public] mind share’ (does the W3C, OASIS or IETF capture public mind share?) our goal is to facilitate the range of technical, social and legal initiatives that all need to happen to get and identity layer of the web – that shares people’s data in privacy protecing, conveninent and under their control. It is a huge problem – with many elements – having a loose community structure (with a slight bit of formalization) is actually working in some way to move this forward.

I think we’d be missing a lot if we scoped DP as a specialization of an “open identity layer”.

What do you think moving peoples personal information arournd – data portability is about. It is about building an ‘identity layer’ of the internet – for people and people’s DATA.

Chris has said a few times the scope of DP is to be narrow for now and focused on solving the data portability issue between mainstream social networks. This seems like something that fits into the purpose quite well.

Yes all data for all things needs to be moved around AND a good deal of data is created by people for people about people and the things the they do – hence the synergy.

Seems like semanitcs – when we wrote this purpose about two years ago this was the best we could do to describe this ‘vision’ it is VERY broad.

If DP wants to go beyond ‘people’ data that needs to move around GREAT – however much of that will be created by organizations and companies (that have identities).

Related Posts: What is Data Portability.org
What the Heck is Identity Commons?

What is Data Portability.org

I have like many working for years on different aspects of building an identity meta-system where users have control. have been listening to and in some cases contributing to the conversations at dataportability.org for a few months.

There seems to me to be two different but interrelated energetic focuses in the DP group

* one is evangeslistic and pushing a message out – out into the mainstreatm.

* the other is technical – around what tech to use, how to implement it, what ‘action to take’. (much of the activity around technical side of the identity stuff needed has been happening in the context of the Identity Commons community for several years)

* the policy group is relatively quite in DP (and at IC) this critical aspect is needed but there has yet to be a center of gravity around this in the world yet. When I look out on the landscape I see several nascent conversations and hope that those nascnet conversation leaders can be brought together – so a gravitational center that is collaborative between all the trains of thought can form and really get this to happen (it requires significant funding – brain power etc).

One of the community leaders said “the value of DataPortability is that it is a brand that can represent multiple communities.”

Another leader stated this “DP has a very specific goal. To research, document for mainstream consumption and evangelize best practices for DataPortability.”

It got me wondering about what DP’s brand “is”, if the primary focus “building a brand” and what will/does the brand mean and what does the organization do? The following are some crystalized ideas based on listening to and participating in the conversation. They are all very interesting possibilities.

* Does having the logo on your site mean something about how much control you give ‘users’/people the ability to move their data?

* Does it mean that ‘shared’ user data – the relationship that one user has with another or a record of a transaction that I did with a company – do both parties ‘own’ that information and have shared control over where it is ‘ported’ around?

* is it a public rallying call for ‘netizens’ to rally behind to demand that they have ‘data portability’ and with this large netizen organization go to ‘social network providers’ nd ‘demand’ that they install technology to make it easy?

* is it a ‘trade’ association of technology sites that agree to adopt open standards, do testing and hold each other accountable in getting this to happen?

* does it innovate the strong ‘business case’ for companies with large numbers of users (and those starting to grow the number of users) might actually spend development dollars that enable DP rather then ‘do it later’ after other key features are rolled out?

* is it a movement of advocates and net early adopters who want to create a buzz and “move” large social network providers to invest in the standards and technologies needed to support people being able to move their data?

* is it a place where the technical issues in making this vision a reality are figured out and the ‘answers’ (reference implementations) are promoted?

* Is it an ‘open brand’ that anyone can point to and ‘define’ for themselves and say they do it?

* Is it a brand like OSI (Open Source Initiative)that has an a process that defines what is and is not qualified ‘open source’ licence?

* Is it a brand that holds events to talk about the broad subject of Data Portabilty – (a vast problem – with many potential solutions)?

* Is it a “Movement” lead by a charismatic leader or group that has ‘followers’ (think Free Software as an example of this kind of movement)?

* is it an umbrella/coordinating space for different sector groups to find each other and collaborate on the shared by different problem space (health care, insurance, retail, nonprofit groups, airlines etc – etc) in an extensible way?

There is a related post about Identity Commons and DP
and What the Heck is Identity Commons?