Towards and Open Identity Layer

The first afternoon session was on Towards and Open Identity Layer and Trusted Exchange: What Might it Look Like? The panelists were Paul Trevithick, Parity Communications; Dale Olds, Novell; Tony Nadalin, IBM; Kim Cameron, Microsoft; and Marc Rotenberg, EPIC. John Clippinger, Berkman Center was the moderator.

One of the topics that was discussed was security. Kim Cameron made the point that CardSpace doesn't build all the walls that might need to be built, but it changes the paradigm so that the walls can be built.

Marc Rotenberg brought up the issue of electronic voting systems. He says that there are two very important and conflicting interests in making voting systems work: auditing and secrecy of ballots. Decoupling the identity of the voter from the audit trail is difficult. Kim said that voting, like sex, is better left in the physical world.

Caller ID was an interesting service when it rolled out because it confronted people with the notion of identity in an electronic world. There are two lessons: identity is highly dynamic (depending on context) for the same person and people want to be able to affirmatively assert their identity rather than having the default set against them.

Opt-in scales. In a "do not call list" scheme, there's nothing that prevents a company that you have a relationship with from contacting you. More people have signed up for the government's "do not call" list than voted in the last presidential election.