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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Identity Assurance with MyID.is

Author: Mark Dixon
Saturday, April 4, 2009
2:41 am

I admit it.  I stalk Identity Management on Twitter.  I do so by dedicating a Tweetdeck search column to the term "Identity Management." This morning, my stalking paid off.  I picked up a tweet from @TechRSS introducing me to MyID.is, a service that purports to validate a person’s true identity over the Internet:

"MyID.is Certified users store their certified identity information to the service and create a link between an Internet community and their verified true identity stored at MyID.is Certified. By getting your digital ID certified, the service will compare it from trusted data sources such as your bank info and public registers."

The two methods used during the validation process include:

  1. Being charged a random certification fee (between €2 and €5)  to a credit card with the same name being certified. The user must later submit the precise amount charged to the MyID.is website.
  2. Submitting the user’s real postal address, to which is sent a printed letter with a code that must be later submitted.

I haven’t yet used this service, but it represents a novel approach to verifying a person’s real Identity.  It isn’t completely foolproof, but scamming the system would require both a fraudulent credit card account and a fraudulent postal address. 

This is but one approach in the general area of Identity assurance – focused on validating that a person is really who he or she claims to be.  In an online environment rife with imposters and anonymity, this is a breath of fresh air.

Of course, the validation process is not immediate – like online denizens usually prefer.  You don’t automatically know that I am the person whom I claim to be, just because I registered at the MyID.is site.  I must wait for the precise amount of my credit card charge to show up on my account statement and for the printed letter to arrive.  I’ll report back when my certification is issued.  Maybe then you will be convinced that I am The_Real_Mark_Dixon (like @The_Real_Shaq, but with a minor fraction of his fan base and monthly income).

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