COMsumers

Unbound Spiral: Digital Identity

December 31, 2002 04:13 PM

2003 requires a paradigm change in the discussion around Digital Identity. There is a good DI discussion going on at the moment with Eric Norlin, Mitch Radcliffe and others. I've not been quite ready to wade in. Yet to stay out longer and I'll miss the party. So below are thoughts from a few days ago.

Eric helped with editing a paper I wrote on P2P Personalization quite a while ago. While thoughts of COMsumers I think mimic Mitch's position.

Is the discussion around digital identity using the wrong terminology? What metaphors do the words Digital Identity frame? How do consumer think and respond to digital identity discussions. Do they just think things like drivers licences, customer records, and control systems rather than talking about it as digital personas? Digital persona’s are closer, perhaps digital personalities closer still. Yet these terms don’t provide a clear ownership proposition. They suggest exchanges, fragments and multiples… They don’t think about it as “Digital Me”. Each and everyone of us should have rights to "me". IOWNME! A site I registered with a friend in 1999, currently lapsed.

The words that people use to describe the digital me are important. Digital identity, digitial personas, digital personality, digital me. The more synergy between the physical me and digital me the more powerful the concept and the value of the exchanges. Further the collaborative capability increases exponentially. To date, there has been little interest in the digital me, or even thinking about how the digital me and my ownership thereof transcribes digi – virtual space. Perhaps 2003 will see a sea-change.

The other school of thought is where we need many – more than one digital personality. Eg business , health, personal, family? To make matters more complex --- and where would each of these reside?