Digital ID

This week in The Internet Course we will focus on digital identity. The panel of experts has pulled together an impressive array of research, some of which is below:

http://www.merethomp.com/tag/digitalidentity/
http://internet.umwdoug.com/tag/digital-identity/
http://www.telnarks-experiment.com/tag/digital-identity/
http://www.binaryyoume.com/tag/digital-identity/
http://www.erinradar.com/tag/digital-identity/

I’m interested to see where the discussion will go. There is overlap with last week’s topic of privacy and openness, especially where topics of hacking and identity theft are concerned.

I don’t want to rehash trodden ground, but I was intrigued by Alec Couros’ troubles with Facebook and identity misappropriation. He’s had problems with people borrowing his image or name or both for scammy purposes, but recently Facebook decided that he himself was not authentic, in spite of the volume of data he had provided them over the years. There are services that use things like Facebook, Twitter or Google+ for login identification. In essence, Facebook becomes a virtual ID card. What are the implications of outsourcing ID verification to commercial entities? Especially in light of the terms and conditions of our relationships with them? In real life we use government, which we supposedly control, for ID cards. What can happen when we turn to commercial providers for that?


As I was looking for an image to go with this post, I found this info graphic by Fred Cavazza on Flickr:

278973402_c876c2334d_z

It might be a little outdated (2006), but maybe that says something about the shifting nature of digital identity. It’s an interesting way of breaking the topic down, and of showing its breadth.

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