Thursday, November 19, 2009

Identity and the Black Hole

There are many reasons for us to drive the e-Trust frame onwards and upwards, not least the implications of the loss of electronic trust. The impact of a catastrophic failure in e-Trust would be profound. Leaving the recent financial melt-down looking like a mere blip. I predict that one of the reasons for such a failure also provides the means of protecting against that same failure. That reason is the failure of electronic identity to appropriately protect the users of the internet from their fears. Identity Theft and other identity failures are occurring at an astonishingly more rapid rate. I posit that the public's ability to accept such failures has a very finite level and once the level is passed e-Trust will rapidly start to collapse. I propose that the response is very similar to the ability of Ethernet to accept "collisions", it works fine up to a point but once that point is exceeded the knee of the curve creates a sudden and precipitous drop in the networks responsiveness. A large number of users will accept a surprisingly large number of identity incidents but at a certain point the willingness to "e-Trust" will collapse in the populous.

This positited phenomena, simply positions the importance of expanding our ability to protect e-trust by enhancing identity across 5 domains: Applications, Enterprises, Devices, Users and Information as crucial to our economic well being..

In dialogue with Steve Greenham, I have developed a model for ascertaining "Identity" using the Digital Shadow of Users. Coupled with a shift to claims or attribute based access management we have the potential of creating a robust means of protecting e-trust.

In the same way that the location of a Black Hole can be identified, so to can the identity of a human be identified. In the case of the black hole it is by observing the phenomena that the existence of the black hole in a specific location creates. In the case of a human being, one can observe the "Digital Shadows" of the user and predict to the required level of confidence the identity of the user.

There are a number of intriguing challenges that will be documented later in this blog.

The present challenge is how to rapidly enable this approach. It will require the partnership of a large number organisations to put in place the capabilities that will allow us to avoid the precipitous collapse of e-Trust. For who knows where we are on the e-trust curve? Humanity has not been here before!