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Can the Obama Administration fix your identity management problems?

"National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace" draws industry throng; also raises worries

By , Network World
August 17, 2011 12:46 PM ET

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The Jericho Forum recently published its own foundation principles for identity — in the "Ten Commandments" format that has rallied its membership in the past on other debated issues, such as contending firewalls guarding the perimeter is an outmoded idea. Among these "identity commandments" are ideas such as "all core identities must be protected to ensure their secrecy and integrity."

"The core identity is you," Simmonds says. "Your human core identifier is your face. The key trick is the only one who can use it is you."

Simmonds believes that once a strong identifier such as a face biometric is established, "It allows you to create a persona and link to it. The important thing is you can't go back up the tree to the root."

He says the kind of identity ecosystem that would be preferred is one that doesn't depend on giant databases of information but relies simply on trusted and secure registration of a core identity, and perhaps use of technologies like chip-based cards. "They don't need to know who I am or anything about it. I can prove immutably I'm me." In a one-way chain of trust, a name is simply an attribute, but personas could change based on what the individual wanted, including anonymity. "It's under the user control and allows you to separate your life up, " Simmonds points out.

Read more about security in Network World's Security section.

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