Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pop will eat itself

...was the name of a seminal "alternative" Brit music outfit in the '80s.

A mere 3/4 years ago Dave Recordin gave seminal presentation on openid that still stands today. At some point he casually remarks that people want different identities for themselves and in fact he had several OpenIDs.

This seemed perfectly naturally to me coming from a security background - having more fake identities than Sybil (or fellow aussie Tara) is just your starting point.

In OZ various identity systems (the australia card) and various government and banking PKI initiatives have failed because a unique explicit identity is just too creepy.  What's worse is a flat social network where there is no granularity.  In recent years Chi.MP and Google Buzz have allowed "Groups" but Facebook has remained steadfastly flat - what crazy logic is that?

Its fashionable to critique FB based on privacy - but thats not the point. The point is that it can't work. Now everyone's friend are blamange of mates, Nannas,  ex school friends, colleagues and people that owe you one beer. With "lists" Facebook is showing some vague hint of granularity but maybe too little too late.
Leakage of the disenfranchised will become a network effect - Ryze, Friendster the proof.

The Law of 150 probably only survives on your ability to "chunk down" into subsets. Without seeing the mooted FB privacy controls, "pop" will eat itself.
Dave Recordin was right that everyone deserves to select what identities they have and as many as they can keep a track of!

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