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factors could be anything, but some examples are name, age, address, email address, bank account number, vehicle registration details, etc. In addition, this technology could be used to communicate securely with online resources so that these resources could be accessed and controlled. But this all needed to be done securely, privately and in a way that prevented phishing (i.e. being tricked into giving a malicious party your details), and so that the person who owned the identity, i.e. you, had control over using it (this is called ‘user-centric’).


Advances in this area have been made recently and various attempts at creating such identities have been made. You may have heard of OpenID. This is a type of digital identity that can be used to log


into websites without the need for passwords. Another identity (and one that I personally favour as it has great technological scope) is an Information Card. Despite the term, these are not actually physical cards but are instead virtual identities that can be used entirely within the internet (or Cloud as it is being called) and so can be used on mobile devices, as well as traditional computers. Information Cards, unlike OpenID, can carry virtually any piece of information representing you and do so in a highly secure and privacy enhancing manner.


In the past year, various world governments have chosen to start projects that will utilise either OpenIDs, or Information Cards, or both, to create portals for ease of citizen access to online government


resources. It is only a matter of time before our handmade community starts to use these identities too. One of my bug bears, as a handmade community internet user, is the need to remember a myriad of passwords to log into Etsy and Folksy and Ping networks, etc. the new digital identities will be able to remove this headache, whilst making the online experience much more secure and private.


For more information, see: Open ID Community: www.openid.co.uk Information Card Foundation: http://informationcard.net Internet Identity Workshop 10: www.internetidentityworkshop.com Kim Cameron’s blog: www.identityblog.com


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