Identity in Digital Government
L. Jean Camp
Indiana University Bloomington - School of Informatics
November 2, 2004
Identity and identifiers are tightly linked when both are confirmed on paper. In a world of paper, verified pseudonyms and conditional anonymity are impossibilities. Assumptions based on the paper identity system lead to flawed decisions in modern uses of failure-prone identifiers.
In this paper I begin by arguing that the use of the word, "identity", masks important social and technical complexities in developing digital identifiers. I describe how identity functions in a paper realm. I use the case of a traffic stop to illustrate how assertions of identity can increase rather than mitigate risks when the distinctions between identification, attribute verification and identity are confused. I conclude that misuses of identifiers are decreasing, not increasing, security.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 4
Keywords: Privacy, security, cybersecurity
JEL Classification: L00, K00
Date posted: November 8, 2004
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