W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webid@w3.org > October 2012

Re: [saag] Liking Linkability

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2012 13:00:13 -0400
Message-ID: <50842A1D.8090104@openlinksw.com>
To: Ben Laurie <ben@links.org>
CC: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>, Mouse <mouse@rodents-montreal.org>, "public-philoweb@w3.org" <public-philoweb@w3.org>, "public-identity@w3.org" <public-identity@w3.org>, "saag@ietf.org" <saag@ietf.org>, "public-privacy@w3.org" <public-privacy@w3.org>, Sam Hartman <hartmans-ietf@mit.edu>, "public-webid@w3.org" <public-webid@w3.org>
On 10/21/12 12:49 PM, Ben Laurie wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 5:32 PM, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com> wrote:
>> On 10/18/12 3:29 PM, Ben Laurie wrote:
>>>> from any person that was not able to access the resources. But you would
>>>>> be linkable by your friends. I think you want both. Linkability by those
>>>>> authorized, unlinkability for those unauthorized. Hence linkability is
>>>>> not
>>>>> just a negative.
>>> I really feel like I am beating a dead horse at this point, but
>>> perhaps you'll eventually admit it. Your public key links you. Access
>>> control on the rest of the information is irrelevant. Indeed, access
>>> control on the public key is irrelevant, since you must reveal it when
>>> you use the client cert. Incidentally, to observers as well as the
>>> server you connect to.
>> A public key links to a private key.
>> It could also link to a machine -- due to resolvable machine names on the
>> Internet due to DNS .
>> It could also link to composite of a machine, user agent, and referrer
>> document -- due to resolvable document names on the Web of Documents due to
>> HTTP.
>> It doesn't provide the high precision link that you speculate about
>> (repeatedly) re. a Web of Linked Data -- since the referent of a Linked Data
>> URI is potentially nebulous e.g., entities "You" and "I" .
> Ah, I agree that the key does not inherently link back to a particular
> person. What it links is the various interactions that occur under the
> identity represented by that key. As we know from various anonymity
> disasters (the AOL search terms and Netflix incidents being the best
> known), it is not hard, in practice, to go back from those
> interactions to the person behind them.

No, not the "Person" (a nebulous non electronic media entity). You have 
links back to a user agent (software) associated with a network address.
> To be clear: linkability does _not_ refer to the ability to link
> events to people (or machines). It refers to the ability to link
> events to each other.

Doesn't matter, so you link two events, what does it ultimately prove 
beyond the use of some machinery on a network?

> The reason linkability is a privacy problem is
> that it turns out that in practice you do not need very many linked
> events to figure out who was behind them.

That's ultimately a function of logic. Today, we have email addresses 
making the process of identity reconciliation very easy, thanks to Web 
2.0 patterns whereby you email address (if rally unlucky your address 
book) serves as the "super key". This will change if folks can make new 
personal identifiers (which aren't email addresses) with alacrity. 
That's what this whole issue of WebID, Linked Data, Entity Relationship 
Semantics,  and Logic is all about. Create higher burdens of proof that 

1. context fluidity
2. nebulous nature of cognitive entities not of the Web or Internet -- 
"You", "I", and "Others".

We are speaking about foundation for what comes next  -- via existing 
Web architecture -- as opposed to what's broken right now :-)

> I am sorry if that has not been clear from the start.
>> I know you don't want to concede this reality, but stop making it sound like
>> those that oppose your view are simply being obstinate. You are the one
>> being utterly obstinate here. I encourage you to make you point with clear
>> examples so that others can juxtapose your views and ours.
>> Back to you.



Kingsley Idehen	
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
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LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen

Received on Sunday, 21 October 2012 17:00:37 UTC

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