Sony has a digital identity problem, not us.
[Posted to Random Bytes on November 20, 2002 11:16 PM| Links to this post ]
Jon's solution is nothing more than a solution he's been thinking about for a very long time because the concept of digital identity is more of a convenient label than it is a solution to a real problem. The solution that we need to give more thought to is how we create a relationship between our One True Identity and our virtual comings and goings. The problem of identity is well-solved (ask Grog's Mom, she had her act together - too bad her One True Identity was some unintelligible muttering). Making it machine readable is much more interesting. But its not really about My Digital Identity any more than it is about My Television Identity, My Newspaper identity or My Headstone identity. It is about making sure that who *you* think might live behind a name actually is behind that name.

Identifying and confirming what the real link between me and my 01010101 moniker is needs to go a lot deeper than forcing the dot populi to deal with managing YAI (yet-another-identity). And this is where Sony might be of some assistance. The fact is, in the online world, Sony's digital identity is sometimes Jennifer Lopez and sometimes its Ripley. Where this gets sticky is that Sony's real identity is "The company that makes sure that Jennifer Lopez and Ripley each make their way into my living room."

In other words, Sony lives at the Transport Layer, but they haven't figured it out yet - much in the same way that I'm a transport layer for my identity. Figuring out what makes my identity valuable in an online world and creating a durable link between it and me (the transport layer) solves a big chunk of the problem that keeps Mr. Sony up at night worrying about Mr. Napster.
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