Identity

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Full Title or Meme

Identity is a real world concept that allows us to associate attributes (specifically Trust) to entities, individual or corporate. It is not definable in sufficient specificity to be of any value in definitions of digital concepts.

Context

Identity in the real world is modeled in the digital world by these four elements (all of which are able to be fully defined):

  1. Identifiers or names that are assigned to a continuing presence in the digital world,
  2. Attributes that are asserted for the entity and may be validated for greater trust,
  3. Behaviors that are recorded about the entity over time,
  4. Inferences that are determined by some intelligent evaluation of the above elements (this has the danger of becoming stereotypes).

To be of value in the digital world it is necessary to assure that an identifier continues to apply to the same real-world entity, even though that entity may change any of the other above elements over time. In this definition the real-world legal name is just an attribute as there are cases where it legitimately changes.

Problems

It has become too difficult to create any kind of computerized representation of a user to satisfy all the of requirements for identification and privacy of user information.

Solution

  • Abandon the use of the term Identity in any taxonomy used in computer networking.
  • The term can continue to be used in any ontology that does not need a high level of specificity.

References