Seven Laws of Identity - Kim Cameron, 2005

These are all from what I think of as Identity Wars 1.0, which led to the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) starting in 2005. OpenID and OAuth came out of this, as well as tension with existing corporate / enterprise systems, which were much too complicated for developers of small web apps and startups to implement.

  1. User Control and Consent
    • Technical identity systems must only reveal information identifying a user with the user’s consent.
  2. Minimal Disclosure for a Constrained Use
    • The solution which discloses the least amount of identifying information and best limits its use is the most stable long term solution.
  3. Justifiable Parties
    • Digital identity systems must be designed so the disclosure of identifying information is limited to parties having a necessary and justifiable place in a given identity relationship.
  4. Directed Identity
    • A universal identity system must support both “omni-directional” identifiers for use by public entities and “unidirectional” identifiers for use by private entities, thus facilitating discovery while preventing unnecessary release of correlation handles.
  5. Pluralism of Operators and Technologies:
    • A universal identity system must channel and enable the inter-working of multiple identity technologies run by multiple identity providers.
  6. Human Integration:
    • The universal identity metasystem must define the human user to be a component of the distributed system integrated through unambiguous human-machine communication mechanisms offering protection against identity attacks.
  7. Consistent Experience Across Contexts
    • The unifying identity metasystem must guarantee its users a simple, consistent experience while enabling separation of contexts through multiple operators and technologies.

Reminded of this by Phil Windley’s recent post