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

Scarce Interest in Verifying my Identity

Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, July 29, 2011
6:09 am

On December 10, 2009, I posted a short piece on this blog about Trufina, a company providing online identity verification services.  For a long time, I had a visible Trufina badge on the blog, so someone could click on it to verify that I was, indeed, the very Mark Dixon I claimed to be.  Since no one expressed interest, I took the badge off my main page.

Just this week, over 18 months later, one person actually clicked on the link in my December 2009 post and requested verification of my identity – not so much that he was interested in my identity as he was in the process of validating online identities.

I have concluded that this dearth of activity must have something to do with the following:

  1. My blog is rarely read.
  2. People aren’t interested in Trufina.
  3. People just don’t care about validation of online identities.
  4. A combination of the above.

By the way, I have never received a single request from someone via Tru.ly, the similar service whose badge I now display on the right most column of this blog. But I must be patient.  I just signed up for Tru.ly in March, 2011.  I have 14 more months before I can really compare the popularity of Tru.ly and Trufina.



Emerging Identity Oracles

Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, March 3, 2011
7:20 pm

imageOracle: “In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion, predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods.”

Thanks to Nishant Kaushik for pointing out Anil John’s thought-provoking article, Identity Oracles and their role in the Identity Eco-System.” In his introductory tweet, Nishant suggested, “Some thing for @trulyverified to think about.”

Since I recently signed up for the Tru.ly service, I thought Nishant’s advice was timely.

It was interesting to review the four characteristics of an Identity Oracle outlined by Bob Blakley, currently the Gartner Research VP for Identity and Privacy

  • An organization which derives all of its profit from collection & use of your private information…
  • And therefore treats your information as an asset…
  • And therefore protects your information by answering questions (i.e. providing meta-identity information) based on your information without disclosing your information…
  • Thus keeping both the Relying Party and you happy, while making money.

Some emerging companies fit part of this definition.  Certainly Tru.ly relies on information I provide and they verify, as an asset, and have based their business plan on such assets.

However, others come at it from different direction:  Axciom and LexisNexis offer Identity Verification and Authentication services based on publicly-available information.  Neither company has asked me whether they can use my information, but Axciom claims, “Acxiom’s identification platform utilizes demographic and geographic data in challenge questions with nearly 900 data elements for more than 300 million individuals.” LexisNexis claims, “Access to vast data resources – more than 20 billion public and proprietary records.”

Axciom and LexisNexis customers pay for the privilege of tapping into those vast stores of personal information to provide authentication and validation services.

Does this make Axciom and LexisNexis Identity Oracles?  What about Tru.ly or Trufina, or similar companies? Do the the three major credit bureaus qualify?  Perhaps none are complete Identity Oracles in the true sense of Bob Blakley’s definition.  But they are getting close.

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