Over the last few months, I have been immersed in discussions about trusted online identity. Topics have ranged from the nature of trust frameworks, what identity federations actually communicate with each other, models for components in identity proofing and credential management systems, approaches to citizen-centric services and models for electronic identity information.
It has been a mind-expanding exercise.
There is only one clear observation – we could really use a Babel fish. Despite all the thrashing about glossaries, lexicons, common models, consensus pictures: most of the people in any conversation around trusted identity and federation are talking past each other.
So, as I travel the path of gaining insight into the evolution of the state of the art, I hope to share some of the things I learn along the way. The people I’m working with seem to appreciate my approach to bringing order to complex subjects: ask simple questions that have complex answers and build a picture of a model that explains how things seem to work.
My current project? A generalized model of the relationships between a Person, identity information, identifying information and ways in which a Person communicates their ‘identity’ to others in understandable ways. A modest task 🙂