Identity is the platform

These are the slides from my talk at the Mindtrek conference in Tampere, Finland today.

I admit that there are some controversial things in this talk, but if I don’t say it, I don’t know who will. So, for the purpose of understanding this talk, it’s worth keeping in mind that I mean “OpenID” in a much more expansive way — not limited to the purview of the features of the protocol today, but as an effective, comprehensive competitor to Facebook Connect.

As well, I’m working out what I really mean by “Identity as the Platform”, but my five touchpoints are currently:

  1. Me at the center
  2. Smarter user agents
  3. Dynamic personal expression
  4. Universal user experience
  5. Data is money

I’ll be posting a video of my talk later, which should I expand on what these elements actually mean, but I’m happy for feedback in the meanwhile!

Also, I’m embedding this slideshow using Scribd as Slideshare wasn’t able to convert my slides. Let me know what you think.

5 Comments

  1. at 5am on Oct 2nd # |

    I enjoyed your talk.
    I of course second the importance of taking ownership of data away from providers and moving it to a distributed and user-controlled architecture. This would solve many problems, e.g. the so-called panoptic provider, uncontrollable diffusion of private information to 3rd parties, security and data protection (also by encryption), property and data re-use. Finally, also the interest conflict between users and providers may be omitted which is a contemporary issue which I call privacy theatre: the provider claims its platform to be privacy preserving through ads, its privacy policy and unusable privacy controls, but behind the scenes tries to maximize information flow for the network effect.
    I am amazed by the adoption of OpenID we have seen in the last years but in the end, OpenID in the first place only is an authentication mechanism. Minimal profile information and personae play only an antagonist role. I think OpenID as such must be drilled up in the direction of the OpenStack to become a full featured IDP one day. Nowadays still too many proprietary and not interoperable ID systems are built. OpenID providers must agree on secondary protocols and exchange formats to support commonly.

  2. at 6am on Oct 2nd # |

    Btw, thanks for making http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maslow%27s_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg

  3. at 1pm on Oct 2nd # |

    I invited a term for the death of services during my latest talk about web decentralization and openness (during a French event), it’s datacide (see http://twitter.com/davidbgk/status/2584904897 ).

    I think it’s important to share the same term but I’m open to any idea :)

    We will have decoupled data and services soon (Motion is just a first step and Typepad own both parts but I’m sure it will change), which means that it will reduce datacides if you control your data and can change/duplicate whatever you produce. That’s the important point: services consuming your data the way you want to add value to those data. Hopefully, it’s on his way.

  4. at 9pm on Oct 4th # |

    Chris,

    Not trolling or naysaying… but consider some of these challenges…

    + Certainly those of us who understand the social and technical constraints related to managed identity care deeply about these issues. But how do we convey the importance of a lack of digital freedom to average users? It seems oddly similar to Richard Stallman’s efforts evangelizing free and open source software.

    + Facebook’s incentive to adopt OpenID is tenuous at best. They are 300M users strong and have enormous data capital. Why would they want to allow people to port their identity out? Particularly if they are as aware of it’s importance as we all are?

    + Namespace ownership needs to be simplified for personal non-commercial namespaces. More importantly – if we really want to move to a people-centric web, should it not require proprietary service providers like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. to host users’ personal non-commercial namespaces?

  5. at 7am on Oct 5th # |

    Hi @Ankush:

    Replies:

    > Certainly those of us who understand the social and technical constraints related to managed identity care deeply about these issues. But how do we convey the importance of a lack of digital freedom to average users? It seems oddly similar to Richard Stallman’s efforts evangelizing free and open source software.

    I think stories work well. In my talk, I focused on a personal experience, which I’m sure will become increasingly common.

    I also think that many people won’t relate to this idea at all — and that’s okay. What’s important is that there is a clear, actionable message that explains how to support this idea and why it’s actually a good idea for the web and the network in general. It may not be completely obvious yet, but I think the picture is starting to emerge as various services end up shutting down or being acquired.

    > Facebook’s incentive to adopt OpenID is tenuous at best. They are 300M users strong and have enormous data capital. Why would they want to allow people to port their identity out? Particularly if they are as aware of it’s importance as we all are?

    Because they get that the more places you can use your identity, the more valuable they become. The reason why they haven’t adopted OpenID is that the user experience of choice sucks — choice doesn’t fit into a one-click button.

    Facebook wants to be everywhere its members are — which means going wherever the web goes. OpenID is a mechanism to achieve that — though Facebook Connect is currently a more powerful set of technologies (but requires a greater degree of integration).

    > Namespace ownership needs to be simplified for personal non-commercial namespaces. More importantly – if we really want to move to a people-centric web, should it not require proprietary service providers like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. to host users’ personal non-commercial namespaces?

    Yep, exactly. My hope is that competition from the Twitters and Facebooks of the web will force more complicated providers to simplify their offerings. And I don’t know when it’ll happen, but I’d love to see someone go about building an open source or non-profit identity provider.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

11 Trackbacks

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