|Wednesday, July 10, 2002|
Digital ID World Conference.
Control your identity, or Microsoft and Intel will. We can choose accountability, or we can let the unholy alliance of Hollywood, Microsoft, Intel, and the government choose for us.
Interesting timing that these two showed up next to each other in mp aggregator. Jon outlines the process for acquiring a Thawte certificate and discusses how a trust system could arise from digital certificates, and how people can use this system to bootstrap a process that takes identity control out of the hands of big companies. Reading his article almost makes me want to sign up. Phil's comment that the government is the defacto provider of identities in the US, and clearly this is true. Clearly there's problems with that, as shown by some of the 9/11 hijackers acquiring Virginia IDs, but it's true. In fact, all governments are in the identity business, because they issue passports. So it seems like this is a natural function of government, but yet all the noise on identity is coming from private companies these days.
Jon mentions the spam problem as one of the things digital identity might solve. As an aside, I've been receiving daily emails from some place that shows up in the From: box as "Objets.Net", they seem to be selling MS software, but the funny thing is that it's all in Spanish, so I'm not quite sure what they're selling. Talk about useless! It occurred to me that a lot of spam seems to be targeting Americans; I mean, refinancing a mortgage (a popular spam lately) can't be a very portable concept. And all the drug offers would seem to target the US, with its restrictions, as opposed to Mexico & Canada, where a lot of US citizens go to get their prescriptions filled. But it's not always easy to tell where a recipient is; .com domains, for example, aren't restricted to the US, and Yahoo! and Hotmail accounts can be used from anywhere in the world. There's no guarantee that the recipient can even read English. It must be really odd, then, to be a non-US citizen recieving all this stuff, worse than irritating, it's also useless. Is there such a thing as nation- and culture- specific spam?
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