Identity Portfolio

Work in online security and digital identity led to simple identity and what it means as the virtual world imposes itself on the physical world. Includes ideas about trust, privacy, and philosophy of self in the social context.

Photo credit: Aaron Burden

The pieces on this page represent the development of my thinking about an evolving commercial and social subject. It should show a measure of expertise in digital identity, and more specifically in the phenomenon of (social) trust. Find a little logic, some history, a few laughs, and alternative perspectives.

Privacy is Responsibility: Personal Information as Money
(05/15) — Entrusting someone with money creates a fiduciary responsibility. Fiat money makes even fools care more about the exchange. Why not with personal information? We could do worse than treat our allegedly valuable personal information as we treat dirty old cash. (515 words; 3 min read)
IT Security: The Rise of the Data Chemists
(06/14) — The days of perimeter protection for online security and privacy are dwindling. That approach to safeguarding and ensuring data security are destined to the quaintness of punch cards. Relying on them for extensive or elaborate IT implementations is unwise. There is a better way. (830 words; 4 min read)
Trust Deficit
(07/08) — In the terms and context of not trusting politicians, a brief contemplation of what trust is all about and how it affects organizations. (800 words; 4 min read)
Digital Identity Religion and Information Dogma
(02/04) — Religions of identity are solidifying among those who follow the "Big Brother" approach, others who prefer "federation," and yet others who want their own solutions damn the rest. These choices rest on a confused state of understanding about the (personal) information underlying them. (1,100 words; 5 min read)
The Post Office in the Digital Trust Framework
(10/03) — In the evolving trust framework for online (commercial) activity there are few organizations that have the assets and could project the necessary trust for evolution. The world's postal administrations are one such organization. (1,000 words; 4 min read)
Toward a Digital Trust Framework
(10/03) — Expanding online commerce demands trust. In the digital world, an trustworthy structure has to evolve to compensate for an absence of trust among distant and detached participants. The trust framework that will increase acceptance and transactional value has two key attribute sets. (3,000 words; 12 min read)
Dancing Around Identity
(09/03) — As the protective walls of computer and data isolation come down, location-based identification methods become inadequate. Location-independent, strong digital identity is required to move ahead. No. 1 of the Identity Planet series. We pose questions that the series attempts to address in depth. (1,400 words; 6 min read)
Identity Hierarchy
(07/03) — Real world identity creation and perpetuation has an implicit practical hierarchy in the system structure. Ignoring it will inhibit development of a digital identity system. To create a robust solution, integrating physical and virtual social worlds, we must use the technology within the constraints of the existing system to increase overall integrity of the collective system. No. 3 of the Identity Planet series. (3,300 words; 14 min read)
Identity: The Historian's Perspective
(03/03) — Digital Identity does not solve the privacy problem. The historian knows everything get outed eventually, in the case of identity as a result of spillage/slippage. Personal information is out there and can be inferred; privacy has to be rethought. (1,870 words; 8 min read)
Philosophy of Identity
(12/02) — In pursuing digital identity as a solution to a technical/economic problem, we give too little thought to the importance of "softer" non-commercial aspects of identity. We need to address the foundations and underpinnings, features and characteristics of social identity. No. 2 of the Identity Planet series. (3,700 words; 12 min read)
Dante in Denver
(11/02) — In an homage to Signor Alighieri's trek through hell, I find myself pondering the state of digital identity in the wake of Digital Identity World 2002. (9,300 words; 11 min read)
Evolution of the Online Trustmark
(09/02) — Symbols are a device for making decisions without direct, verifiable proof. Online, this is essential as it's often impossible to get personal, direct verification of trustworthiness. Explores the development and future for online trust marks. (1,900 words; 9 min read)
There's More to Online Trust than Security and Privacy
(09/02) — Through 2001 and 2002 many people equated trust (or its absence) in the online world with security and privacy. As made obvious by development in understanding through 2002/03, this is too narrow a view of how trust can be achieved or substituted to invigorate eBusiness/eCommerce. (2,000 words; 9 min read)
Putting Speed Bumps on the Criminal Path
(06/02) — Identity theft/fraud are growing problems that facilitate more destructive crimes, now exacerbated by the Internet. Some insights into Canada Post's understanding of the subject and what it's doing. A speech at the Identity Theft/Fraud Conference, Toronto, by Canada Post's VP, eBusiness. (2,800 words; 12 min read)

Other writings that might be of interest.