Always-on identification

Always-on identification David Weinberger's recent essay, There's No “I” in “Identity”, advances a notion of real-world identity that's so different from mine I had to sort out why. David writes:

In the real world, we don't identify everyone. We only identify those about whom we have doubts that we have to resolve for some purpose. Identifying is not the default in the real world. Nor, IMO, should it be online. [JOHO]

Compare this with the following memorable quote from Bruce Schneier's Secrets and Lies:

Authentication is about the continuity of relationships, knowing who to trust and who not to trust, making sense of a complex world. Even nonhumans need authentication: smells, sound, touch. Arguably, life itself is an authenticating molecular pit of enzymes, antibodies, and so on.

I remember this quote because I included it in my review of the book, which I continue to think is not only Schneier's best book, but also the best book I've ever read on the topic of security. [Jon's Radio]

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