[OpenID] OpenID, P2P and decentralization

Kaliya * identitywoman at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 18:52:44 UTC 2007

On 3/2/07, Paul Trevithick <paul at socialphysics.org> wrote:
> Privacy, the "laws", etc. can't be discussed without first defining
> context.
> Clearly there is a "public" context. And as soon as OpenID adds a more
> extensible data model it could well, as Scott says, become your public
> persona. Including your relationships.

I don't want all my relationships everywhere to be ported everywhere.

> Relationships you have and don't mind sharing with the world. MySpace,
> etc. are social laboratories that are demonstrating vividly where the
> evolving boundaries are for these public personas and relationships.

I don't have any 'friend lists' anywhere except my linked in contacts. That
I find to be of extraordinarily limited use. I want to mark people as near
and far from me..to "hear" from the network in some visually intelligent

Giving you my public identifier doesn't mean I give permission to be linked
publically by you AND ported around all over the place.

> So Kaliya, if someone learns your OpenID or email and puts it in their
> network, there's nothing you can do about it.

But they don't have to broadcast it around everywhere. I don't want to be in
all my friends to port me around to ALL networks they are a part of.  I
connect to them context by context. Yes I want to be in multiple contexts
with many people but not all contexts with all people. XFN feels like the
sloppy way to acheive context interoperability.

My experience is that outgoing 'internet' type of people are fine with XFN.
Many women I have talked to about how XFN works are uncomfortable when I
describe hot it works.

But the OpenID situation is far better than with email, although they have
> the identifier, you control what they can "do" with it. In the email case
> what they can "do" is send you
> email. Hence spam. In the OpenID case you're in control of what they can
> "do" (learn about you, interact with you, etc.) So you can't be harmed in
> this public context.

I think it is important to think about how different communities have
different needs around identifiers and what happens to them.  Women have a
different relationship to the web an privacy.  If one is a woman one can't
list one'self in the Skype directory because one will get SkypeStalkers. I
learned this before I signed up for my account from other women.   I am not
saying that OpenID's will lead to this...It is an example of a social
phenomena experienced that when I have shared with men who work in the tech
industry surprises them. I am guessing there are a few  perspectives that we
have  not heard from when thinking about this (XFN and OpenID).

The problems with OpenID occur when you try to use it in non-public
> contexts. The "global-ness" of the identifier becomes its weakness because
> it enables privacy-violating correlation across contexts.

One could imagine being asked if one wants to be in a friends XFN network?
That would let them decide if they wanted to be ported around. You could
also imagine a way to request to port in an XFN way to a particular network
before doing so.

I just think some of what the XDI folks have been thinking about comes into
play here in making all this portability and understanding of context and
permissions comes into play.


Scott wrote:
> >
> > > I get really freaked out when People start talking XFN and identities
> of
> > any
> > > kind.
> >
> > I actually get really excited about this; your OpenID is your public
> > persona
> > on the Internet IMHO.
> >
> > > Personally I never want my OpenID identifier in ANYONE's XFN
> file.  This
> > sort
> > > of social graph portability is highly privacy invasive and goes
> against
> > the
> > > "laws" that people should have both control and consent for where PII
> > goes.
> >
> > It frustrates me to no end to hear the "laws" brought up over and over
> > again
> > (I understand you put this in quotes which is why I did as well).  For
> > those
> > that don't know, the "laws" Kaliya is referring to are Kim Cameron's
> Laws
> > of
> > identity:
> >
> > http://www.identityblog.com/stories/2004/12/09/thelaws.html
> >
> > I don't think this is highly privacy invasive at all.  People make this
> > information public all the time (and continue to do so) on many sites
> > today.
> > Connecting OpenID with XFN simply makes it easier to do what people are
> > already doing.  If helping make the Internet easier for people is
> against
> > the "law", then I personally think the laws need to be changed.
> >
> > This is already happening.  Making sure it is done with open
> technologies
> > like OpenID and microformats ensure that we aren't locked into any one
> > vendor in the space.
> >
> > > I get that many folks here are not concerned about where they end up
> in
> > other
> > > peoples social graphs and how they are ported around the web without
> > their
> > > knowledge.  I am.  Many people do. Many people do who will be users of
> > OpenID.
> >
> > I'd like to offer a differing view point.  I don't think many people do.
> > I
> > think most people want the Internet to be easier.  I think most people
> > want
> > to participate in social networking of the kind that can be enabled with
> > things like XFN.
> >
> > I'm not trying to give you grief Kaliya, just pointing out another
> > viewpoint
> > on the matter.
> >
> > - Scott
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > general at openid.net
> > http://openid.net/mailman/listinfo/general
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