Monday, July 02, 2007

The coming identity war

Kermit Snelson, from Rivarol Technology Partners, has posted to his blog pointers to the brewing feud "over whether we should build a single 'identity layer for the Internet,' or simply continue to build myriads of application-layer point solutions."

Snelson points to posts by Doc Searls and Dave Winer (on the single layer side) and Dave Wienberger & Marc Cantor (on the myriads of silos) side.

Kermit throws his weight behind Doc and Dave, by quoting Winer:
"Here’s the puzzle. If all identity systems you use interoperate seamlessly, grasshopper, how many identity systems do you use?

Here’s a hint. How many email systems do you use? RSS systems? Web systems? The correct answers are 1, 1, and 1."
And that is the telling point. It's not that we need a single, massive Identity silo, but that all the various identity services/apps/systems/silos/datastores be able to seamlessly interoperate either passively or actively as we, the identified, so choose. Those who wish to allow greater or lesser degrees of data-linking, -storage and -gathering (as with Searls' Vendor Relationship Management project) can co-exist right alongside those who believe all identity transactions should exist in a vacuum. It's the only right way.

RSS Systems?
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