Friday, December 10, 2004
Identity taxonomyKim has now introduced another Microsoftie into the identity mix. Carl Ellison appears to back up Kim, while making the same (to me) semantic error of believing that an entity can have multiple identities. As he puts it:
I suspect that each individual has an inherent identity, but that it is irrelevant. Rather, I define the identity of person P as being a function not I(P) but rather I(P,O,t) - the identity of P from the point of view of observer O at time t.
Each individual does have an inherent identity - (DNA + fingerprint). This is an absolute unique identifier for every person who lives, will live or has ever lived. Other attributes, (such as aliases and qualifiers) can be attached to the object which has that identity. Multiple subsets of these attributes can be extracted each of which I call a persona. It is this persona which Carl, Kim and (as previously mentioned) Scott Lemon call "identity". But using identity to describe any one of multiple personae is simply confusing to those who aren't intimately involved in the identity conversation. We must build a taxonomy of identity so that everyone involved with IdM and IAM can, intelligently, converse. Interested readers might wish to peruse the "Privacy Glossary", particularly the entry for identity as a jumping off point.
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