Wednesday, December 06, 2006

THe Identity Universe

Eve Maler has taken a stab at pictorially visualizing "alternate representations of oneself." It's an excellent effort, and one I urge you to take a look at, although I do have one quibble.

Eve & I were both at the Internet Identity Workshop this morning, so I was able to sit down with her to raise my question and listen to her explanation. We accomplished in five minutes what it might have taken days to do via email, so there are still good reasons for face-to-face events!

If you'll notice in her diagram, she has three levels of identity: the orange boxes for the digital subject, the dark yellow box for a digital identity and then a light yellow box called a "digital persona". It's Eve's contention that this third level, the digital persona, is created by applying rules to the digital subject which limit the amount of data the digital subject will share within a given transaction.

I feel that this is simply a different digital identity, albeit in possibly the same namespace as another one. If you feel that a digital identity needs to be unique within its namespace, then Eve's hierarchy should work for you. If not, you may simply collapse that into a separate digital identity (or, "persona" as I call it) with rules applied to the entity's digital attributes.

You pays your money and you makes your choice.

Still, it's a very good explanation.

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