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Re: Principles of Identity in Web Architecture

From: Graham Leggett <minfrin@sharp.fm>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2021 12:02:19 +0200
Message-Id: <874F5D4D-6820-4F1F-9737-EEE926F92F31@sharp.fm>
Cc: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>, Philip Sheldrake <philip@eulerpartners.com>, TAG List <www-tag@w3.org>
To: "Patrick J. Hayes" <phayes@ihmc.org>
On 14 Jun 2021, at 03:41, Patrick J. Hayes <phayes@ihmc.org> wrote:

>> You raise a good point.  Alice can have many identities.  …
> 
> Ahem. Allow me to call BS at this point. Alice does not have many identities. LIke everyone else who has ever drawn breath, and indeed like every endurant object, Alice has one identity. She has it, uniquely and irrevocably, from the moment she was born, to the end of her life. She is one person. 

Technically Alice is one person, but practically Alice has not given consent for you to know who she is or attributes about herself.

Consent is key to all of this.

If I want to buy age controlled products from a shop (think alcohol, etc) I want to reveal to the shop the “i am of sufficient age” part of my identity, but I don’t want to reveal the age to the shop, or my name, etc. That’s none of the shop’s business. This is not a theoretical concern either, we know from the behaviour of companies on the internet that businesses can and will extract everything they possibly can out of the data they receive.

Violating consent is subtle and can be very cruel. If “having suffered bereavement” is a part of my identity, having some digital company saying to me “we’ve worked out that products X and Y might interest you, aren't we clever” is not ok. Having a digital company saying “we’re super clever, and so have worked out that you might not want products X and Y, can you confirm?” is even worse.

Alice has many identities, because Alice does not consent to you accessing her complete identity.

Regards,
Graham
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Received on Monday, 14 June 2021 10:03:34 UTC

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