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8/02/2005
  Identity 2.0 - The promise of single sign-on

This Wired article on "Identity" systems that promise new ways to store and share your profile information on the internet, has quotes from some of the famous Web2.0 types, like Doc Searls:

The customer wants to be able to say to the whole marketplace, 'I'm in Denver; I want a four-wheel-drive; I'll buy my own gas; I'll decline the (insurance); I want it on these days; and I'm willing to pay such-and-such,

I don't think there's any proof at all of that desire! If anything, there's a lot of proof that people don't want that. Programmers and techies, however, think it sounds great.

I doubt that consumers want that level of integration or "ease-of-use" with their identity. They are scared of that idea, and for good reasons - both "security" and pragmatism - what if you do want the rental insurance when you are in Europe? That whole attitude is a very "programmer-centric" way to think, I.e. "wouldn't it be great if all of your "semantic" info was carried around in a key fob, and transfered via XML as you went up to the rental car desk?"

The real world consumer answers: "Huh? No way!" to that every time.

Overall, I think this Identity 2.0 thing is missing the WIIFM. Because I don't think it's good enough to tell consumers that they don't have to re-type their data again.

 


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