MIA Apologies for Identity Verification Posts

Sorry both John and I have been missing in action for a few weeks.  But on the bright side, the lack of blog posts of late means this one is jammed packed full of relevant identity news!

I’ll start by highlighting a blog post on identity verification from our partner Oracle.  Brian Mozinski does a great job of spelling out some use cases for identity proofing as well as explaining in layman terms how it works.

This past summer IDology made an official announcement about our launch into the lead verification market.  Earlier this month we exhibited at AdTech New York to help educate companies that are buying and/or selling leads understand the importance of identity and how our solution helps drive more conversions.  During the show, I was interviewed by WebmasterRadio.fm on the importance of identity verification in this market.  Take a listen to the podcast to learn more or even just to hear how this true Southerner did in the big city!

The latest drama indicating the importance of adult age verification in social networks – especially chat rooms – comes from the U.K. where a suspicious wife posed as a schoolgirl to trap her pedophile husband.  The U.S. media hype over these types of issues has definitely died down this year since the Internet Safety Technical Task Force disjoined and Facebook and Twitter seem to be surpassing MySpace’s popularity.  Now the focus is more on celebrities and Twitter and figuring out if the “real Brad Pitt” really is the “real Brad Pitt.”  Hats off to a new beta service from Crederity that is addressing this issue by giving you a way to verify your Twitter account.  Crederity is using dynamic knowledge-based authentication (KBA) as part of the verification process and they link with several social networks including Facebook and LinkedIN.  And best of all — it’s free (right now)! What’s exciting to me about this service is not only is it a step in the right direction for identity in social networks — it’s also a step in the right direction for portable, trusted identities.  It’s not quite Information Cards yet but it’s getting there.  You can help make more strides in both areas by getting a Crederity seal and linking to your Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIN account.

Of course, I can’t talk about social networking without addressing privacy.  A blog-debate on privacy between Burton Group’s Bob Blakley and Gartner’s Andrea DiMaio ensued last month.  Coincidentally, I just watched some of the privacy issues being discussed in the blog on a TV show I was catching up on my TIVO this past weekend.  One of the daughters in a MEDIUM episode video-taped her neighbor, unbeknown to him, doing things that she found funny such as getting frustrated while changing a tire, spraying a nest of bees and getting swarmed, etc. and then uploaded these videos to a YouTube-type of site.  The neighbor decided to sue under a violation of privacy.  The lawyer for the main character felt it wouldn’t be much of a case since these videos were taped in a public place but that they should settle to avoid going to court and accumulating a bunch of fees.  In the end, the neighbor decided to drop the suit because through these videos he reunited with a long lost love that never would have happened otherwise.  So in this context, because the invasion of privacy led to a happy, better outcome in his life, he overlooked it.

This show – and the many comments to Blakley’s post – brings up an interesting point about the role individual tolerance levels play in the privacy debate.  We are more likely to have loose guidelines when the information being shared improves our situation or the public perception of ourselves than if the information is harmful or embarrassing.  For example, my tolerance is a lot higher when I’m tagged in what I think is a cute picture of me on Facebook versus being tagged in one taken of me on the beach in my bathing suit.  Factoring in the blurring line between our professional and personal life, privacy tolerance levels completely change.  After all, it’s one thing to be embarrassed over a bathing suit picture with my friends, and another matter entirely if it involves male co-workers.

Tell me, what are your thoughts?

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