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Tag: masks

Digital Identity: Ceremonies of the Mask

African Masks

Part of the ceremony of digital identity is binding identity artifacts to the person. There’s a sense in which these artifacts become real extensions of a person. They are augmentations, but the binding is very real. Think about how it feels to lose your keys, your wallet, your favorite pen. The human factors around digital identity remain an undiscovered country.

While listening to Dick Hardt talk about his Firefox plugin Sxipper to Phil Windley on Technometria, I began to think about anonymizers. These services are used to obscure a person entry point into the Network. I can see a future point where our relationship with identity becomes more sophisticated, we could use Sxipper to do three things.

  • Jack into the Network anonymously
  • Manage our personas and roles as we interact with various digital agents on the Network
  • Keep track of common interactions and compile them into macros

Sxipper, or some similar tool, will be on your phone, on your USB fob, a key on your keychain– it becomes your entry point to the Network. There’s a sense in which this relationship is more sophisticated, but at the same time more primitive. We will be consciously donning masks to present ourselves in the social space of the Network. The Network was largely populated by publications and transaction scripts; it’s starting to be populated by people.

Imagine that world, and then imagine losing your keys. The feeling of absence, a part of you gone missing, unmasked. The vows taken in the binding ceremony have been broken.

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