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March 15, 2004 » 3:47 pm

Fen Labalme on SharedID

Fen Labalme posted some comments on SharedID, an authentication service for sharing personal information across different web sites:    (16M)

While this sounds promising, unfortunately SharedID is exactly the wrong thing. First off, it’s centralized (ug) – all authentications go through the SharedID site (another hideout for Big Brother?). Further, and this is a problem with FOAF in general, profile sharing is at FOAF-file granularity, which means all my info, friends, etc. in my FOAF file will get shared once the cantralized authentication happens. I’ve heard some of the FOAFsters talking about how one might have several FOAF files, but then you’ve got data replication problems.    (16N)

Fen is the primary architect of the Identity Commons protocols. Identity Commons is a chaordic organization founded by Owen Davis that is designing and building an infrastructure — both technical and legal — for federated digital identities and profile sharing. How is this different from Microsoft Passport or Liberty Alliance? Identity Commons is designing its protocols so that individuals retain control over their personal information.    (16O)

I think Identity Commons is a wonderful project and Fen is the perfect technical lead. He’s been working on privacy issues for 25 years and is the founder of the OpenPrivacy initiative. Blue Oxen Associates is a member of Identity Commons and plans on being one of the first sites to use the protocols.    (16P)

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