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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Thursday, April 25, 2024

Identity: Personal/Personalized, Static/Dynamic

Author: Mark Dixon
Saturday, May 26, 2007
3:52 am

I like Luke Razzell’s proposal that “The online projection of your identity is made up of information that is both personal (about you) and personalised (of interest to you).” As Google and Amazon and many others continues to amass as much information as they can about what is of interest to me, ostensibly to provide more personalized service to me, it makes sense to distinguish between Identity attributes “about” me and attributes describing “what I like”.

Expanding this view, it also makes sense that we talk about the difference between “static” and “dynamic” identity attributes. Static attributes include those items that don’t change (e.g. GPS coordinates on Angelina Jolie’s arm), and those that to change infrequently (e.g. residence, telephone number).

However, dynamic attributes may include current location, network device I am currently using (e.g. mobile phone, PC), my current interests (e.g. “I am hungry”), and what I am currently doing (the Twitter phenomena). Some of these dynamic attributes can be easily sensed (e.g. location, device), but an individual would need to specify others. It will be a while before Google can read my mind, although they are trying awfully hard to do so.

An immediate, major impact of the static/dynamic differentiation is that identity repositories must be flexible enough to handle both traditional slow-changing static attributes and more rapidly-changing dynamic attributes.  These repositories must handle dynamic attributes in real time. Big service providers are definitely taking stock of this issue.

Note 1: Luke and I differ in the spelling of “personalized” because we reside on opposite sides of the pond.

Note 2: I couldn’t figure out how to picture dynamic identities, so the horse will have to do.  His name is “Pure Dynamic.”

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