Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Identity Dictionary

For years I've been meaning to try to come up with the definitive dictionary of identity management - a full list of all the terms we use in IdM and what they mean. I've even tried to coin a word or two from time to time - never very successfully, alas. Are you familiar with "Prosodentity"? I thought not.

I've also been involved in the identity gang's attempt to create a lexicon for user-centric identity. That's a much smaller task, in a more limited space, and still fails to yield to the millions of words that have been written as one person after another attempts to correctly frame each term.

In that 2004 newsletter in which I coined prosodentity, I quoted from Australian Allan Milgate, who said: ""It is important to ensure we all 'talk the same language'." I heard from Allan again a couple of weeks ago when he took me to task for some possibly sloppy usage in the newsletter. I'd said, about a biometric system, that " either authenticate with a fingerprint..."and Allan reminded me that I really meant "identify" not "authenticate." But in the ensuing email conversation, I learned that he's been very busy compiling his own Identity Dictionary - 104 (and growing) terms well and thoroughly defined from "access" through "workflow". I may not completely agree with all of them, but it's a very important step in the right direction. Take a look, then bookmark the page. It just might, someday, be held in the same high regard as the Seven Laws.

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