I am at RSA today…

I am at RSA for the next few days. Checking out the ‘security scene’. If you are around and want to be interviewed for the Story of Digital Identity feel free to ping me with via IM (I now have my Yahoo! IM on/off on the side of my blog) or with my i-name.

This morning I saw the head of RSA speak – FREAKY is all I have to say. They wan to have pervasive passive authentication – checking all user behavior against our prior behavior as stored in our browser (this is our attention data) and their uberdatabses on us. They are talking about really having us loosing our privacy. I would never give access to the uber security network system they are talking about plugging us all into. This will have constant surveillance of our transaction patterns “normalcy” according to their algorithms. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!

analog-digital Clash – HIGH transaction costs

Today I have had two analogue-digital clashes. Or perhaps digital loops that had to pass through an analogue phase

I went to the bank to get a print out of all the transactions on my account recently – so I could notify them of the fraudulent ones. You would think that i could tell a bank employee which ones are fraudulent and they would ‘mark them’ on my account electronically and then investigate. Nooo… I get a form that I must fill with a pen writing out each fraudulent transaction.

Then I have to come back tomorrow when the guy who can notarize them is there to mail the documents into the bank. It will then take them 15 days to even look at my claim – more time to investigate and no money is returned until they complete investigating…potentially a month or more away. Meanwhile I am out $2800.

Second clash. I did some work for PR company. They call me last week and leave a message that says…call us back. I really don’t like voicemails like that you have to write the number down. Then punch it back in to call them. I figured it was about my SSN for taxes. I changed my voicemail message that said if you really want me to call you back you have to e-mail me and left my e-mail address. So today I get this e-mail that is a W9 that i have to fill out and sign and fax back to her. Shouldn’t you be able to submit this to the company in some electronic way and then be assured they destroy this information (revocation) so it is not floating around forever in there accounting system. Not yet apparently. So first I fill out the PDF boxes then print it out to sign it. I don’t have a fax machine. So Then I scan in back into my computer and send her the JPEG.

Ross Mayfield said at an event last year that 50% of the economy was transaction costs. These experiences both have a lot of cost associated with just doing the transactions. We as a digital identity community need to address real costs baked into the system that are not working for people or organizations.

Halley and I talk Identity – Podcast from BlogHer

One of the highlights of BlogHer for me was my first podcasting experience with Halley Suitt. I was sitting around at a ‘podcasting’ station and she showed up and the John Furrier who runs PodTech was there and so we did a spontaneous recording… here is the result. Wow! listening I actually don’t mind my voice.

How do we make the internet a trusted place?
Is the net a more dangerous place for women?
Halley discusses her digital identity experiences – writing about sex on the net, and lingerie photos of her on the net.

I mention the founding of Virtual Rights to address this new era of personal representation online. I share what inspires me how we can use these tools to empower us as citizens.

Digital Identity ‘performance’ by college kids

Danah Boyde has a great post about Face Book – (an online social network only for those how are in college.) This paragraph really stood out for me because it highlights the social phenomena that those of us who typically work in digitial identity do not really ‘do’ – DIGITAL IDENTITY PERFORMANCE…

The Facebook is situated in a culture with a set of known practices and needs, helping students make sense of their universe and constantly changing social networks. Even the issues around performative profiles are dampened because college students are so engrossed in digital identity performance as a process of figuring out who they are. Between MySpace and The Facebook, teens are now growing up assuming social network tools and building the value into them but most adults have no interest; herein lies another age division that will certainly affect the future of technology use.

She also wonders about how the practices emerging in these educational facebooks can perhaps be picked up by corporate ones to make them more effective.

Unfortunately, in the corporate culture, tools are being built to only reflect a fraction of the networking practices – they are poorly aligned and dreadfully unflexible. It’s funny though – every big company tends to have a facebook of sorts – reporting charts, roles, seat assignments. What if those could grow to indicate projects and past cooperations between colleagues? What if non-salesman could articulate their relationships to people in other companies rather than having them uncomfortably sussed out via email? What if social networking tools were built into the already existing corporate framework? What would it mean to make the corporate facebooks more useful?

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Building for Peace | Cell Phone Presence

One of the things that I have always been inspired by since first going to Planetwork’s first conference in 2000 is the potential of these tools do do good. Johannes posted this on the Empowered citizen after the London Bombings and is a great reminder to consider why digital identity is important to continue building. While we must continue building we also must think about what we are building and how it can be used. Below is a post I found a while back that reminds us we must think about the implications of the powers we build into these new gadgets.

Empowered connected citizens are what changes the terrorist dynamic.

As a Silicon Valley entrepreneur whose very life is centered around building things, not destroying them, I watch in utter disbelief and complete incomprehension. How can anyone’s goal be total destruction? How can any of them believe anything will come out of these acts, except for more destruction? What sick world view is that?

There is a clear line. There are those who build, and those who destroy. Those who construct, and those who destruct. Deep down, I feel there is little middle ground. You are either with us pushing forward for positive, constructive change, or against us, killing and burning. There cannot be a compromise.

Many asked the question last week: “what can I do, how can I help?” My answer is simple: “Keep building.” Whether you are in high-tech, building new companies, products and markets; or a street sweeper, helping to build a beautiful city; or a parent or teacher, building understanding and new lives; or wherever you are. We, the builders, can build more than they can ever destroy. We can build better and stronger. And we will. We, the builders, will prevail, and there is no doubt about that.

Some interesting issues from the CTO forum on the Entrepreneurship Blog.

Presence information Cell phone providers could exploit.

  • Cellular providers know who you are and where you are as long as your cell phone is on. If you are with a group of people they could detect who you are with.
  • The aggregate statistics and behaviors that could be mined from cell phone presence/position data must be worth billions.
  • The identity and security implication are fun to think about. Your cell phone presence information becomes another part of your digital identity.
  • How much presence information should a cell phone customer share with their peers?
  • Maybe the customer would like to place delay loops for some of their contacts. Do you inform a peer that the information they see is delayed or do you want them to believe it is in real time? Perhaps you want you location to be fuzzy like consumer GPS. How fuzzy? It probably depends on who wants to know.

I was surprised Digital Identity wasn’t discussed.