Stephen.Wilson's blog

Stephen Wilson's Babysteps

Ideas to demystify identity, privacy, authentication and safety online.

Identity evolves: Why Federated Identity is easier said than done

 

"Identity evolves: Why Federated Identity is easier said than done".

See lockstep.com.au/library/identity_authentication/an-ecological-theory-of-digit

I worry that the term "ecosystem" is much overused. If we actually think ecologically about identity and risk, then it looks like we can reach interesting and novel conclusions!

Cheers,

Steve Wilson


Abstract

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Daring to question the "open" in Open Identity

I’m developing a detailed submission on the National Strategy for Secure Online Transactions and the fit between the OIX model and the needs of e-business and e-government. But can I please test one of my concerns in this forum?

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The challenge for Kantara -- It's not for nothing we call 'em "silos"!

I hope Kantara will be different but I have yet to see an "identity interoperabiity" initiative that properly articulates the real problem it's trying to solve.  Sometimes the question is more important than the answer.  So we need to start with a precise framing of what it means to have "interoperability" of identities.

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In defence of silos!

Many federated identity models involve a central authentication broker, intended to break down “silos” that hold individuals’ assertions.  In practice these sorts of schemes have proven much harder to launch than expected.  Orthodox explanations for this can blame organisations for being too precious about their customers, or for treating security as a competitive differentiator.  But my analysis suggests that the total cost of a large number of traditional simple contracts turns out to be likely less than that of a smaller number of much more complex ones. 

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Is federated identity moving away from decentralisation?

I wonder if the Liberty Alliance has moved away from decentralisation as a central tenet of their work, and thereby possibly watered down its approach to privacy?

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