Starting Points

From IdCommons

What is User-centric Identity?

User-centric identity is the ability:

  • To use one's identifier(s) on more then one site
  • To control who sees what information about you
  • To selectively share presence and profile information
  • To maintain multiple identities and personas in the contexts you wish
  • To aggregate attention, navigation, and purchase history from the sites and communities you frequent
  • To move and share your personal data, relationships, documents, and other publications as you wish

Kim Cameron was the first to introduce the terminology "Identity Metasystem." and articulate what that might mean. He also introduced The Laws of Identity:

  1. User Control and Consent. Technical identity systems must only reveal information identifying a user with the user’s consent.
  2. Minimal Disclosure for a Constrained Use. The solution that discloses the least amount of identifying information and best limits its use is the most stable long-term solution.
  3. Justifiable Parties. Digital identity systems must be designed so the disclosure of identifying information is limited to parties having a necessary and justifiable place in a given identity relationship.
  4. Directed Identity. A universal identity system must support both “omni-directional” identifiers for use by public entities and “unidirectional” identifiers for use by private entities, thus facilitating discovery while preventing unnecessary release of correlation handles.
  5. Pluralism of Operators and Technologies. A universal identity system must channel and enable the inter-working of multiple identity technologies run by multiple identity providers.
  6. Human Integration. The universal identity metasystem must define the human user to be a component of the distributed system integrated through unambiguous human-machine communication mechanisms offering protection against identity attacks.
  7. Consistent Experience Across Contexts. The unifying identity metasystem must guarantee its users a simple, consistent experience while enabling separation of contexts through multiple operators and technologies.

Why should I care?

Since the Web was built around "pages", no tools or standards were created to control how the information about you was collected or used. We all agree that we need some kind of “open identity layer” for the Internet, but we don't know exactly what that means or what it looks like. Our community has come together around some shared understanding of this and we continue to ’struggle’ with what it means and how it should work.

We are working as a Community, on the development of the next layer of the web---for people and their information---the social-data layer. It's going to take time to figure out, and lots of people have already been working hard for several years and have made significant progress at the Internet Identity Workshop.

These are the questions we're striving to answer:

  1. What are the open standards to make it work? (identity and semantic)
  2. What are technical implementations of those standards?
  3. How do different standards and technical implementations interoperate?
  4. What are the new social norms and legal constructs needed to make it work?
  5. Wwhat are the businesses cases / models that drive all this?

Identity Commons is the collection of working groups where these conversations are happening.

All this takes time, and yes, interest is growing and movement is happening, but there is not 'one answer' or 'one blueprint.' As Doc Searls, one of the 'grandfathers' of this movement is fond of saying, it is a "market conversation."

We need a broad and diverse range of participants. This layer once implemented will be as world changing as the World Wide Web of documents was for the Internet.

What is the Identity Commons?

The purpose of Identity Commons is to support, facilitate, and promote the creation of an open identity layer for the Internet — one that maximizes control, convenience, and privacy for the individual while encouraging the development of healthy, interoperable communities.

Identity Commons Values

We believe in the dignity of Human individual in the context of the digital world.

In order to make this true we strive for a balance of factors and values as digital systems and tools evolve:

  • Individual control, convenience & privacy
  • Sharing of information when participating in community
  • Support for commercial and non-commercial exchange
  • Interoperability and openness between systems

We work to bring these values into practice by fostering a collaborative a community of individuals, organizations and companies share these values and are working together towards practical technical mplementations.

We share a pragmatic idealism.

We work to practice what we preach and have openness and transparency in what we do.

The Identity Commons Evangelism & Marketing Workgroup is working to continually improve communication about Identity Commons values and relevancy.

Identity Commons Shared Principles

  1. Self-Organization. Enable any working group to self-organize at any time, on any scale, in any form, around any activity consistent with the Purpose and Principles.
  2. Transparency. Fully and transparently disclose the Purpose and Principles of each working group, any requirement of participation, and any license or restriction of usage of its work product.
  3. Inclusion. Conduct deliberations and make decisions by bodies and methods that reasonably represent all relevant and affected parties.
  4. Empowerment. Vest authority, perform functions, and use resources in the smallest or most local part that includes all relevant and affected parties.
  5. Collaboration. Resolve conflict without resort to economic, legal, or other duress.
  6. Openness. Conduct, publish, and archive communications in a manner that facilitates open and trusted interactions within and across all working groups and the public Internet.
  7. Dogfooding. When feasible and appropriate, employ the work product of Identity Commons working groups to facilitate the operation and interaction of Identity Commons itself.

How does the Community work?

Kaliya has written an excellent explanation of the inner workings of the Identity Commons community on her blog Identity Woman. The post is entitled What the Heck is Identity Commons?

Figuring out the Landscape =

Identity Landscape

Identity Companies

Other Helpful Links


Identity Gang Mailing List

Vidoop's Video about OpenID

Understanding Windows CardSpace with a good overview on Kim Cameron's IdentityBlog.