IDENTITY IN LINK-ENABLED ECOLOGIES

Products themselves will become the links to the network of known information. This is the redefinition of the worldwide web into a form that exists in the physical world. A retail space is no longer just a retail space, but a network of link-enabled objects hosted in that space. The products will be the access point for features, services and knowledge. Objects will have the ability to inform one another. Transactions will become seamless and invisible. The transaction might take place silently between the consumer and the object itself. Objects will have the ability to determine the maximal price that will appeal to each individual customer.

INTELLIGIBLE TRUST-COMMON SENSE TRUST

The Taxonomy and Ontology of data will become the first filter for trust. Taxonomy and ontology of identity means categorizing authenticated identities, defining their meaning and storing the data for future use, as well as for activity profiling. Once two end points have been connected once, they should recognize each other at a subsequent encounter, just like most people recognize people, places and objects they have encountered before. Intelligible identity is an identity that has been verified before, and was tagged with taxonomy and ontology descriptors, and will be recognized when encountered again.

To fully appreciate the concept of intelligible identity, let's look at an example of an activity we are all familiar with, and that is the typical interaction with the ATM (automatic teller machine) at your bank. The interaction consists of three actors: the person, the place and the object.

People go in front of an ATM machine for very precise reasons, and this fact should actually help in speeding up the transaction—that is, if the system was designed with social norms in mind. One may want to deposit cash, one may want to withdraw cash, or one may want to check the balance of a bank account, or all three of these actions in sequence. All of these interactions depend on the user identifying himself/herself, and instructing the machine as to the indented purpose of the visit. This authentication is made once the user inserts a bank access card, in a specifically designed slot in the machine. Up to that moment, neither the machine nor the place where the machine is located, have made any effort to identify the user. The anti-social aspect here is that the user is a regular customer of the bank, and of this precise branch in particular, and has been so for the past 25 years ...

Once a PIN number is typed on the keypad, the machine identifies the user not by looking at him/her (facial features), but by this number alone. In other words, even in that moment the object has no awareness of the identity of the user; it has only an awareness of the identity of the card. Using instruments and controls provided by the machine, the user is allowed to conduct a specific set of transactions, as long as the card remains inserted in the slot.

This is not a person-to-machine interaction, but a machine-to-machine interaction, a transactional activity in which the user is playing the data entry role, and while the machine performs its actions, just the role of a spectator.

Let's imagine a situation in which once the transaction is completed, and the card is returned to the user, the user realizes that he/she needs a higher amount of cash. In other to obtain more cash, the process described above needs to recommence. Seconds after a transaction has just taken place, there is no identity awareness between the object and the user. This is against all social norms. In any social situation when two individuals introduced themselves to each other, a number of cognitive and perceptive mechanisms start to work: our faculty of sight, our faculty of hearing and our memory bank. People store images in their memory, in order to increase the likelihood of recognizing images on sight, which speeds up decision-making and the understanding of purpose. Next time you meet this person you will recognize him. Next time you come to a place you recognize it as well. How awkward would it be if we have to re-introduce ourselves to people every time we meet them, even after a relationship of over 25 years, and more so, minutes after we just had a conversation? Why is it then, that with all this technology around us, we still need to identify who we are to places and objects we have conducted business with before?

Intelligible trust deals with the social aspects of identity, and the advantages of people, objects and places trusting the authenticity of people, objects and places they connected with before. As the Internet of Things ecosystem is growing rapidly, the profile of security and trust issues will rise, as will the number of transactions in need of authentication.

 
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