Decentralizing Identity

March 9th, 2003 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized

I’m attempting to follow this important issue carefully. Andre Durand says the time is ripe for developers to hijack the Liberty Alliance and create the tools necessary for individuals to have control over their digital identities:

Imagine if someone hijacked the Liberty Alliance protocol (I say ‘hijack’ because Liberty was designed by corporations for corporate federation of Tier 2 identities) and embedded it in a client of some sort. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s say the client was a Jabber IM client, and imagine if we extended the personal information in the Jabber client to include things which Bryan describes in his ‘Digital Estate‘ article posted last year (which by the way was the original Ping vision). Now let’s take this concept two steps further — imagine if this new breed of Jabber client did more than just allow you make buddy-lists and chat in real-time, but actually allowed you to build your own Personal Area Networks (similar to a project we did at Durand back in 1995 called CommunityWare). To truly understand this notion, check out Ryze — a business and social networking community (website) which actually achieves much of the original thinking behind www.sixdegrees.com (now out of business). And lastly, what if, as Eric Norlin has suggested, we hijack email while we’re at it, putting an ’email like’ interface (many Jabber clients already have this) into the IM interface, but do so in such a way that only ‘certified’ individuals (people who have been added to your Personal Area Network or Roster) can actually send you email (thereby eliminating spam) — now we might have something both unique, new and interesting.

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