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Tim Callan | 12 May 2006 | 0 comments

I was at Internet Identity Workshop 2006 last week, and because it is a conference focused solely on the subject of identity, it served as a good opportunity to take stock of the situation. To be sure, a lot of progress has been made in the last year; if I have my facts right, YADIS – the lightweight discovery protocol for specifying capabilities for URLs – was conceived at last years IIW and has made it all the way to a 1.0 specification this spring. The ecosystem has come a long way towards the issue of identity in the past year too.


At Esther Dyson’s PCForum in Carlsbad, CA last month, the theme for the conference was “Erosion of Power: Users in Charge”. As with all forward-looking conferences there’s always an element of wishful thinking and projection in the conference themes. From the myriad conversations I’ve had at PCForum...

Tim Callan | 17 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

Dick Hardt and John Merrells of Sxip recently published Fourteen Design Goals for web-based identity systems. As Dick says in his blog entry, these are offered with a nod to Kim Cameron's Seven Laws. I've pulled out the 14 requirements from the doc -- see the doc for more in-depth discussion:

Tim Callan | 13 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

Over on the OpenID mailing list, I made some comments outlining concerns about OpenID/YADIS/LID and the prospect of managing directional identity. Drummond Reed emailed shortly after I posted my thoughts, pointing out that he had covered this topic in depth on his blog back in December.

So he has. And, suprise, we came up with essentially the same solution. My suggestions were largely informed by the Sxip approach to the problem of directed identity, so I suppose its fair to say that I've essentially just been agreeing with Dick Hardt and his team, as well as Drummond and his: a robust single sign-on technology -- even a lightweight one -- should support on-the-...

Tim Callan | 13 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

Via Kim Cameron's blog, an article -- ostensibly legit -- about a Cincinnati company that is implanting RFID tags in some of its employees. The thinking is apparently that "tagging" employees adds additional security, enabling better monitoring of where people are, or aren't in secure environments.

RFID chips in humans are a good example of omnidirectional identity, something I discussed in a recent post. In this case, it seems quite ill-advised for humans to equip themselves with an omnidirectional identifier that anyone with a proximal reader can detect, without the consent, or even knowledge of the bearer. This is a feature, not a bug, in many commercial contexts -- say when you're a tracking a flat screen TV through the supply chain. But as the recent...

Tim Callan | 28 Nov 2005 | 0 comments

Dave Winer points to Johannes Ernst’s recent post summarizing all the good things happening around URL-based identity. From talking to Dave, he seems to be leaning the same direction as many other are lately: URLs are the natural building blocks for user-powered identity on the Net. It’s a great boost to the project if Dave and OPML can find adopt a common framework for identity.  There’s more discussion happening around this later this week, so we’ll have to wait and see, but given my last conversation on this with Dave just before Thanksgiving, I’m quite encouraged.

Tim Callan | 07 Nov 2005 | 0 comments

Johannes Ernst has taken another swing at the YADIS (Yet Another Decentralized Identity Interoperability System) with Brad Fitzpatrick and David Recordon of SixApart. Johannes is the head of Netmesh – the people behind LID – the Lightweight Identity System. Brad and David are the driving force behind OpenID, an even lighter-weight identification system than LID. Both LID and OpenID focus on the URL as the anchor object for an identity, and in past months have worked to find an abstraction layer that would allow sites and organizations that consume identity to use a single means of discovery to...