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Digital Identities Summaries

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago

 

 

 

 
 
 
Orchestrated Summary:
 

 

 

        For the past decade or so, online computer networks have enabled millions of users worldwide to establish what is known as “Digital Identities.” David Greenfield (2003), the International Technology Editor for CMP (a marketing solutions company focused on the technology industry) Media’s network Magazine specializing in covering the optical networking market, explores the definition of “Digital Identities.” In Digital Identity’s Hidden Maestro , Greenfield describes a digital identity as “represent[ing] an individual’s identity online.” This identity “consists of a username and attributes of that individual, such as a password or even personal information, to name a few possibilities [... which] can form the sum of a user’s financial, medical and personal data.” Peter Kollock and Marc Smith (1999), the former is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Sociology at UCLA and the latter a graduate student in the UCLA Department of Sociology, also investigates the computer network. In Communities in Cyberspace , Kollock and Smith portray the computer networks as “allow[ing] people to create a range of new social spaces in which to meet and interact with one another, connect people to people (Wellman et al. 1996 cited in Kollock and Smith 1999). This “creation of thousands of spaces [for example, email, chat, and conferencing systems] to house conversations and exchanges between far-flung groups of people [is] practical and convenient” (Kollock and Smith). Nonetheless, there are also some inconveniences along with benefits that come with this developing technology.

        “The most optimistic proponents of the Internet have argued that gender, race, and age become unimportant in online interaction” (Kollock and Smith). Kollock and Smith agree that “[o]nline interaction strips away many of the cues and signs that are part of face-to-face interaction; providing room to play with one’s identity. In the article Big Technology , Nick Montfort (1999), a computer scientist, scholar of new media, and author of interactive fiction, argues that databases and the Internet have “given rise to huge collaborations spanning numerous disciplines national boundaries.” Digital identities and virtual communities “make[s] it possible for large groups of people to work together without much hierarchy [and] can also facilitate cooperation across national and even language barriers” (Montfort). Rebecca E. Grinter and Leysia Palen (2002), the former a researcher and Associate Professor at the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the second also a researcher and Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado, focuses on instant messaging with teenagers. In Instant Messaging in Teen Life , Grinter and Palen describe “Instant Messaging (IM)” (“AIM” and MSN for example) as a tool that “reinforce[s] the social ‘glue’ that ties people together” (Grinter and Palen:21-22). IM also allow users to “talk with friends outside the times that would be allowed […] by natural constraints […]” (“limited social time during school hours” for example) (24). In addition, IM has been seen to be “efficient” in “event planning”, “schoolwork collaboration,” and “multitasking” (25). In a constantly changing world, IM helps to “maintain […] long-distance relationships” which would normally be difficult to manage (28).

        In a trio consisting of Toby Baier, a full time student at Hamburg University, Christian Zirpins, a research engineer and doctoral candidate in the Distributed Systems and Information Systems Group at Hamburg University, and Winfried Lamersdorf, Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Hamburg University, focuses on the challenges and limitations that come with the use of the internet and the establishment of digital identities. In their article, Digital Identity: How to be someone on the Net , Baier et al (2003) muses that despite internet’s “immense growth,” there has not been much “evolution of infrastructure to directly support application-level-communication.” Presenting personal information is important in establishing a digital identity; however, many challenges come with it. One challenge is authentication: “the process of making sure that identification is valid.” Another problem is semantics: Identities should be “universally understood” to avoid confusion. “Security and privacy” are also crucial as identity theft and deception are “major threats.” Also, “too much automation in privacy control” means the users are usually less and less “aware” of what others know about them (Baier et al.). Baier et al questions: Is there a repository today that has demonstrated the ability to satisfy all the different areas of demand such as security, reliability, and maximize openness and efficiency? 

        Current developments in this new technology are aimed at solving the problems of security, privacy, and “global user authentication” (Baier et al. 2003). In order to enhance communication and enable controlled exchange of sensitive data on the internet, there needs to be global standards in identifying users and a universally comprehensible format for data. In Digital Identity’s Hidden Maestro , David Greenfield (2003) points to some of such systems. For instance, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) formed a Provisioning Services Technical Committee (PSTC) in 2001 to “define and develop an end-to-end, open, XML-based framework for exchanging users, resource, and service provisioning information.” This framework “aims to standardize portions of the agent technology needed to create, modify, activate, suspend, enable, and delete data between compliant systems.” Also, Liberty Alliance’s specification and Microsoft’s Passport are the “two leading digital identity initiatives out there today.” Hansen et al. (2004), a group consisting of computer scientists, researchers, and security and privacy executives concerning communication networks, investigates the problems that new programs will need to overcome in order to preserve privacy. In their article, Privacy-Enhancing Management Systems , Hansen et al. argues that in order to ensure privacy and security, there needs to be an “increased level of surveillance, biometric recognition and universal identifiers.” They propose the Privacy-Enhancing Identity Management System (PE-IMS) which will “enable people to assert their privacy rights in the online world” (Hansen et al.).

        In the article Privacy and Prejudice: whose ID is it anyway?, Duncan Graham-Rowe “investigates what impact the widespread introduction of biometrics will have on society” (Duncan, 2005). Digitalidentity schemes will create a host of benefits to the average user by making identification reliable and consistent. Some of the advantages are effective recognition since “Our digitalpersonas will be derived from biometrics that are unique to each of us, such as fingerprints, iris patterns and facial profiles” (Duncan, 2005). The adaptability of the ID to the circumstance has been referred to as "Diffusion effect" in which just certain standards are needed to verify the user’s identity. The biometric ID system “is designed to give each of us instant access to the services we are entitled to, improve our security and prevent fraud. It is an alluring prospect” (Duncan, 2005). The need for us to be able to securely identify ourselves quickly and remotely” reflects the current need to communicate constantly through the web (Duncan, 2005). This makes rapid implementation of biometric technologies both necessary and inevitable. People always have the choice of declining any online identity and carrying on their activities in a non-personal way, thus choice on individual information released on the web is made by the individual himself.

 

 

 

Work Cited:

 

 Baier, T., Zirpins, C., and Lamersdorf, W. "Digital Identity: How To Be Someone On The Net." IADIS Press. 2003: 815-820. e-Society. 19 March 2007.

 

 Graham-Rowe, Duncan. “Privacy and prejudice: Whose ID is it anyway?” New Scientist. 2005;187:20-23. Academic Search Premier. 19 March 2007.

 

 Greenfield, David. “Digital identity's hidden maestro.” Network Magazine. 2003;18:40. Academic Search Premier. 19 March 2007.

 

 Grinter, R.E. & Palen, L. “Instant Messaging in Teen Life.” 2002;21-30. Computer Supported Cooperative Work. New Orleans: Louisiana.

 

 Hansen, M., Berlich, P., Camenisch, J., Clauß, S., Pfitzmann, A., Waidner, M. “Privacy-enhancing identity management.” Information Security Technical Report. 2004/0;9:35-44. Academic Search Premier. 19 March 2007.

 

 Montfort, Nick. “Big technology.” Technology Review. 1999;102:99. Academic Search Premier. 19 March 2007.

 

 Smith, M. & Kollock, P. “Communities in Cyberspace.” 1999. London: Routledge.

 
 

KL's Article summary
 
 
Digital Identities: The Challenges and Results in Establishment
 
 
In "Digital Identity: How To Be Someone On The Net", Baier et al. (2003) defines digital identity as “electronic user ‘identification’”, as well as the "means that distinguishes one from anything other" ("name, date of birth, place of birth, parents"). They investigate the challenges of managing digital identities (“keeping track on user ids and passwords”) which make communication hard, as well as the aspects of digital identities that “enriches communication” and enable “faster, more secure and trusthworthy collaboration”. Personal communication was first applied to domains like "Electronic -Commerce" and "-Learning" for example. Other common applications includes "'electronic' mail". They proposed the idea of a "Digital Identity Infrastructure (DII)" which is "authentication/authorization [...] combined with repositories for personal information" (ie. validity of personal information on emails, website membership). As the use of internet is becoming more common, "more information is exchanged automatically" which leads to a decrease in a user's awareness about personal shared information. The "DII" will provide services like ‘single sign-on’ (having one username for multiple accounts) or ‘automatic form-filling’ while maintaining a user's privacy. This in turn will "maximum openness, effectiveness and efficiency" of online communication.
 
Baier, T., Zirpins, C., and Lamersdorf, W. " Digital Identity: How To Be Someone On The Net." IADIS Press (2003): 815-820. e-Society. 10 March 2007.
 
 
The Role of Instant Messaging

 

 

 

In “Instant Messaging in Teen Life”, Grinter and Palen (2002) describes “Instant Messaging (IM)” (“AIM” and MSN for example) as a tool that “reinforces the social ‘glue’ that ties people together”. Aside from the concerns of “unauthorized copying of IM text” and “sharing information about oneself” –“an essential part of IM conversation, and one for which teens have concerns about protecting”, IM allow users to “talk with friends outside the times that would be allowed... by natural constraints ...” (“limited social time during school hours” for example). Also, IM has been seen to be “efficient” in “event planning”, “schoolwork collaboration” , “multitasking”. In a constantly changing world, “IM...helps maintain... long-distance relationships” which would normally be difficult to manage.

 
 
 
 


Annie's Summary:
The cost of Digital Identities
 
In “Digital Identity: How to be someone on the net,” Baier et al. (2003) focuses on the challenges and limitations that come with the use of the widely popular internet and the establishment of digital identities. Despite the growing number of “directory services” (“specific repositories for personal data”), Baier et al. questions: Is there a repository today that has demonstrated the ability to satisfy all the different areas of demand such as security, reliability, and maximize openness and efficiency?
Due to the “lack of homogenous representation of digital identities” in “human centric electronic interaction,” the images that users have of each other are ultimately “fuzzy.” This causes a great deal of “uncertainty” which affects “trust and social behaviour” between co-operation partners and results in “inefficient and error-prone” communication. This type of “identity representation” available is not enough to identify the users as “individual human beings.”
Baier et al. muses that despite internet’s “immense growth,” there has not been much “evolution of infrastructure to directly support application-level-communication.” In the example scenario given, a “chess enthusiast” named Elli would have to enter her personal information and set up different users for every time she joins a different service (for example, online chess game, online forum, and online books and software stores).
Presenting personal information is important in establishing a digital identity; however, many challenges come with it. One challenge is authentication: “the process of making sure that identification is valid.” Another problem is semantics: Identities should be “universally understood” to avoid confusion. “Security and privacy” are also crucial as identity theft and deception are “major threats.” “Fine granulated information disclosure” is aimed at solving this but it also presents another problem since it becomes a “very complicated task” to maintain. Also, “too much automation in privacy control” means the users are usually less and less “aware” of what others know about them.
Many companies (.NET Passport System by Microsoft, Liberty Alliance Program, X.500, Lightweight DAP, etc.) have tried to tackle these problems but have always failed in one area or another. In general, “collaboration systems” need a broader user base. Baier et al. wishes to target "global user authentication and open distributed directory services.” By doing this, communication and co-operation on the internet will be greatly enhanced and digital identities will be recognized as “personal characters.”
 
 
 
 

Ernesto's Summary:
 
 
Digital Identities: Expanded Possibilities
 
Baier et al. (2003) consider the possibility of the development and appliance of a consistent online identity to allow modern internet users to be “recognized as an individual personality all over the network” (Baier, 2003). The system would be based on the platform that “authentication/authorization should be combined with repositories for personal information in a Digital Identity Infrastructure (DII)” (Baier, 2003). Personal information will be released when required or to select preferences making the user save time in the long run. The use of homogeneous directories across the internet would make interactions and services more personalized. A reliable digital identity can “act as a vehicle to carry trust” (Baier, 2003). Increased personal identity online will make communication more effective while adding a long needed system that allows constant tracking of personal information. Its usefulness extends beyond “providing specific capabilities like ‘single sign-on’ or ‘automatic form-filling’ but rather from real recognition of communication partners as personal characters” (Baier, 2003). The ongoing evolution of the net will go hand in hand with further expansion of online identity and its relevance.
 
Baier, T., Zirpins, C., and Lamersdorf, W. " Digital Identity: How To Be Someone On The Net." IADIS Press (2003): 815-820. e-Society. 10 March 2007.
 
 

Ernesto's Summary 2
 
 
Privacy and prejudice: whose ID is it anyway?
 
Duncan Graham-Rowe
 
Challenges and Benefits of a Biometric ID
 
The challenges and benefits of an online identity have made personal information more reliable and effective. In the article Duncan Graham-Rowe “investigates what impact the widespread introduction of biometrics will have on society” (Duncan, 2005).Digital''identity schemes will create a host of benefits to the average user by making identification reliable and consistent. Some of the advantages are effective recognition since “Our digital''personas will be derived from biometrics that are unique to each of us, such as fingerprints, iris patterns and facial profiles” (Duncan, 2005). The adaptability of the ID to the circumstance has been referred to as "Diffusion effect" in which just certain standards are needed to verify the user’s identity. The biometric ID system “is designed to give each of us instant access to the services we are entitled to, improve our security and prevent fraud. It is an alluring prospect” (Duncan, 2005).The need for us to be able to securely and identify ourselves quickly and remotely” reflects the current need to communicate constantly through the web.(Duncan, 2005). This makes rapid implementation of biometric technologies both necessary and inevitable. People always have the choice of declining any online identity and carrying on their activities normally, thus choice on individual information is made by the individual himself.
 

 

 

 

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