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Re: Browser UI & privacy - a discussion with Ben Laurie

From: Hannes Tschofenig <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2012 10:08:56 +0300
Cc: Hannes Tschofenig <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>, Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>, "public-webid@w3.org" <public-webid@w3.org>, public-identity@w3.org, "public-philoweb@w3.org" <public-philoweb@w3.org>, Ben Laurie <benl@google.com>
Message-Id: <D02EE2A9-5261-4856-9108-DCD5D8F0F4C1@gmx.net>
To: Dick Hardt <dick.hardt@gmail.com>
Dick, 

you have to see this from a computer science perspective. 

Think about a relational database system. You have one or more tables in each database with columns. The columns represent the attributes that are stored about you. Rows are specific instances (values) for these attributes.  

Different systems (with their databases) store different data about you. Even though there is from a philosophical point of you only one Dick Hardt each of these system only see a small subset of the attributes of you. 

The index, the unique key, is the identifier and is (of course) an attribute itself. This makes the crisp separation of identity and identifier somewhat difficult. Of course there may be more than one key that identifies you within that system. Hence, sharing the attributes with other parties may then allow them to uniquely identify you (with a certain probability) even though you never disclosed the unique key. 

Hope that this makes sense. 

Ciao
Hannes


On Oct 4, 2012, at 8:26 PM, Dick Hardt wrote:

>  a somewhat tangential comment.
> 
> On Oct 4, 2012, at 8:10 AM, Hannes Tschofenig <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net> wrote:
> 
>>   $ Identifier:   A data object that represents a specific identity of
>>      a protocol entity or individual.  See [RFC4949].
>> 
>> Example: a NAI is an identifier 
> 
> Easy to  agree to.
> 
>> 
>>   $ Identity:   Any subset of an individual's attributes that
>>      identifies the individual within a given context.  Individuals
>>      usually have multiple identities for use in different contexts.
>> 
>> Example: the stuff you have at your Facebook account
> 
> Not so easy to agree to.  
> 
> I would argue that your identity is everything about you, your Facebook data being part of your identity. Saying I have multiple identities is confusing. There is only one of me. Any slicing becomes challenging as there are no sharp lines between who I am on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn. There is lots of overlap. 
> 
> -- Dick
Received on Friday, 5 October 2012 07:09:32 UTC

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