Digital Identity

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Digital Identity

Digtial identity refers to the online identity of Internet users. These digital identities are used to verify and validate users when access websites and web services. The concept of digital identity is in the midst of a turning point. The current model, referred to as Identity 1.0, has various identifiable flaws. Identity 1.0 is expected to be replaced by Identity 2.0, which is seen as a revolution in digital identity verification on the Internet.


Identity 1.0

1.0 Philosophy

The philosophy of Identity 1.0 is "site-centric".[1] This refers to the fact the people's digital identities are locked-in with specific sites. Sites are seen as the center of digital identities, they store people's identities for their own purposes. Therefore, people's identities are not shared across various sites, which means people are required to repeatedly enter the same information on each site's particular user registration forms.

Figure 1: Identity 1.0 "Identity Silos"
Figure 2: Identity 1.0 site-centric philosophy

1.0 Structure

In addition to a less enjoyable user-experience, Identity 1.0 is also flawed in it's ability to scale efficiently. This is due to the fact that each time a user visits a resource (site), the resource must check a directory to identify the user and verify they have permission.

Figure 3: Identity 1.0 Structure

Identity 2.0

2.0 Philosphy

Identity 2.0 represents a major shift from the philosophy of Identity 1.0. Identity 2.0 moves away from the site-centric model, and puts the user at the center. This is a more open and simple philosophy. This allows the user to take their identity from any site to any site[2]; thus allowing for a more efficient and enjoyable experience.

Figure 3: Identity 2.0 user-centric

2.0 Structure

Identity 2.0 follows a transparent structure which closely mimics our real-world identification processes. A major advantage here is the flexibility and scalability.

Figure 3: Identity 2.0 user-centric

The following are two examples of the scaling possible with Identity 2.0.

Figure 3: Identity 2.0 user-centric
Figure 3: Identity 2.0 user-centric

Identity 2.0 Security

Identity 2.0 is much more secure than its predecessor 1.0. Instead of having their identities controlled by numerous sites, users' identities are stored by a single trusted source. Other sites are only permitted to verify the required about details about identity. Such as "Is the person over 21?", "Is the person a U.S. resident". This puts the control of their identies into the hands of the user.

See Also

There are several companies and technologies looking to implement and direct the future of digital identity under the Identity 2.0 movement.

Open ID

Sxip Identity


Information Cards


Windows Live ID



[1] Identity 2.0 Keynote Sxip Identity Video

[2] Identity 2.0

Digital Identity

Identity 2.0 Identity 2.0 Movement

--Jeff 19:46, 7 April 2008 (EDT)

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