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User Experience (Usability)

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Aug 18, 2005 4:31 pm re: Persistent Identity
>> Barry Caplan - Start Your Future Today

> Bob Snodgrass wrote:
> Does anyone know of any standard or web initiative to create a persistent identity to be used for authentication on various websites. Something similar to the concept behind http://www.identitycommons.net or Microsoft's Passport (who trusts that for identify protection?)

I would be interested too. I haven't looke dat this for several years. I think if you google "indentity" and "RFC" you will find stuff.

Certainly Yahoo, AOL, google, and maybe ebay/paypal too have shown inclinations and ability in this area, in addition to Microsoft.

Hving been caught in the corssfile in an earlier job about how and why the IM players can't agree on standards for interoperability, and having seen nothing change since ~2000, I can tellyou this is a big part of it, and privacy, while a major concern, is not the blocking factor.

It is a pure power play - own the standard, own the customer, mine the gold.

>
>Identity Commons has the potential of solving this problem... my reason for asking is that technically all the issues have not been addressed as of today, and they may not experience the level of adoption it would required to set a standard.

No standard would ever be universal, which means the end user will be faced managing multiple identities to begin with.

>
>Wouldn't it be nice to...
>- Know the person you are connecting to is who they say they are?

Not necesarily. The power of anonymity on the internet is one of its biggest factors for success. Neither you nor I demands identity papers of everyone we communicate with outside of the internet, why should we on the internet?

>- Login to a website without typing or using cookies for login/passwords. Subject to trackers, keyloggers, spyware attack.

Not necessarily. Security by obscurity is no security at all. Large third party holders of private infomratin have not shown any ability at all to protect the information properly to date.

It all sounds very 1984-ish to me.

>- Have security on your online and personal information.

Depends on how you define "security". It would be nice if there was peace in the world too, but thatis subejct to wrangling over the definition :)
>
>I think this is an area of growing concern and is currently impacting the "comfort level" of many people as they use the web.

Agreed!

>
>I am curious also what people think about how this effects usability.

Well, honestly, I think as a whole we will be forced to re-reckon the concept of identity itself. This is already started, but far form complete, and may likely not be complete in our lifetime.

But there is a real disconnect when identity is tied to and managed by sovereign entities such as countries, and the concept of internet identity (or individual idnetity in a broader consumer sense) is increasingly independent of sovereign borders.

There is a real struggle here, and in a very real sense it is the opposite side of the same coin of the US fighting a gloabl war against "terror" organizations that are not sovereign or "drugs" which also involve a non-sovereign enemy.

This abstraction impacts our daily lives where we use the internet. I think usabilty issues surrounding indentity should allow individuals full control over their own identity while addressing the sovereign/non-sovereign issues.

Best,

Barry

Private Reply to >> Barry Caplan - Start Your Future Today (new win)





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