Von Ralf Keuper

In dem ausgesprochen lesenswerten und informativen Beitrag The Evolution of Digital Identity zeichnet Kayode Ezike die wichtigsten Entwicklungslinien in der Geschichte der Identifizierung nach – von der Einführung des ersten “Personalausweises” unter Henry V. bis hin zu selbstverwalteten Digitalen Identitäten.

Mit der Digitalisierung der Identitäten begann ein neuer Abschnitt:

With the emergence of the Web, many services migrated from the physical domain into the digital domain. This development necessitated processes for digital identity management. Today, online identity is far from perfect and many wish that they could return to its early days to influence an alternate course of development. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the historical context within which the components of digital identity emerged.

Ezike spricht von der Technischen Schuld, die das Internet mit sich trage. Die Konsequenzen spüren wir jeden Tag; vor allen dann, wenn wir gezwungen sind, uns mit Passwörtern im Netz anzumelden, die wir dann häufig vergessen haben oder die wir erst noch kreieren müssen.

The Internet was not designed with the goals of security and identity at the core. Rather, the chief concern according to Internet pioneer, David Clark, was to connect heterogeneous machines across a diverse set of subnetworks. At the time, concerns about the people or entities with whom or which one is connecting on the Internet were minimal, if existent, because this predated the emergence of e-commerce Web services that operate on sensitive financial user information. As a result, when it comes to identity management and user authentication, what we have in the Internet is what we have in the Web: a messy quilt of disjunct identity systems that capture, represent, and process user identity for different, often conflicting, use cases.

Trotz der Defizite, die einer breiten Akzeptanz bis heute im Wege stehen, ist Ezike optimistisch:

Evidently, the industry is flush with issues ranging from interoperability to adoption. Thankfully, the digital identity community is also flush with brilliant and well-meaning folks with the skillset and vision to tackle these major issues. So long as these forces dominate the pure market forces, I believe that the community will settle on a set of solutions that is valuable enough for most, if not all, who serve to benefit.