You’ve probably heard the news media declaring the need for vigilance to protect yourself from “identity theft.” Generally, you might know that if a malicious person “steals” your identity, that means they clean out your bank account, ruin your credit, and leave you financially helpless.
While that’s one interpretation of “identity theft,” it isn’t the only one. We have many identities, as outlined on the Identities page.
You have at least one digital identity. Every time you sign up for an online account, you create a new identity. Many people visiting this site will have LOTS of identities.
Some of you will have been consistent and truthful throughout. Most of you will have gotten creative and made something up when you thought that the site demanding specific info had no reasonable need to know. After a while, it gets hard to keep track of ourselves! (Just like our mom or dad warned us–it’s harder to remember lies.)
Those warnings, however, were not based on the wisdom of current times. The “needs” of sites demanding more details about our lives, our families, our friends, and our interests are tenuous at best. Reasonable questions arise:
- What do they need this much information for?
- What are the “terms of service” that we’ve agreed to regarding our disclosures? and
- Where is the accountability when a breach or problem occurs?
This site is about helping you explore what your “identity” is all about. I’ll include stories from the news, interviews with people working in this field, and information about tools that may help you understand and control your identities (to the extent that is possible). Hopefully I will help you develop language about what a digital identity (ID) is, and how we might manage our online presence.
We all need to talk about this in public and with our friends before we can address the industry practices and related issues that prevent us from developing our own self-determination.
Isn’t that what it’s all about? Knowing and being ourselves.