SecureId :: concept

Throughout your day, you convey a great deal of information about yourself to others. You have control over some of this information, while some of it is collected and used without your consent. While you may have the privilege to choose what clothes you put on in the morning, you may not have the right to determine how much of the data produced by you and about you is used. How does your employer use your e-mail archives? What does your cell phone carrier know about your friends and waking habits? How does your grocer alter sale items based on your purchases?

The information you give out on a daily basis is quite context dependent. While you might give your medical history to your doctor, would you give it to a random stranger? Does your language differ between work, the pub and at home with your 3-year-old? What about your clothing? Not only do you make different decisions based on the level of trust you have, but also based on what is socially appropriate. Speaking to your boss like you speak to your child might be both inappropriate and offensive. Do you have different groups of friends, family and associations that may or may not interact with one another? What roles do you play in your life and how do aspects of your character change when you are in these different roles?

All of this data says something about you - who you are, what you like, how you live your life; it says something about your identity and your roles, your relationship with people and society as a whole. For this reason, you should be able to control who has access to your data and how they can use it. Who should have your phone number and when should they be able to call you? What about your medical records? What clothes do you wear? Who gets to see you in your bathrobe? By understanding your context and the people around you, you manage your identity information with ease. You know when to present what information based on context - location and people.

In the digital world, controlling this information can be a bit tricky. You don't have access to the databases that store your records, the formulas that calculate your reputation or the third parties that stole/bought your data. Information you gave away in one location may appear in another later on and removing such persistent data is virtually impossible. Rather than resorting to anonymity, imagine a system that allowed you to control your digital presence and your digital data.

Imagine that you are in control of your digital identity.

SecureId is a program that helps you protect and control your digital identity by allowing you to determine who can access your private information. While location is no longer a useful marker for context, people and type of interactions are still fundamental to the idea of context. By allowing you to articulate your digital contexts based on facets of your identity, SecureId provides the framework for you to properly relate identity information and people with contexts, thereby giving you the ability to portray yourself properly.

In everyday life, people can gain access to different aspects of your identity depending on various levels of awareness about you and your presentation. If they know the meaning behind your clothes or have a particular type of relationship with you, they have different levels of knowledge through which they can make different assumptions about how you are presenting yourself. Knowing this level of context, you can adjust your presentation accordingly. In a similar fashion, SecureId uses a knowledge-based security system to help you manage access to various facets of your identity. While everyone can access public data, those who can provide matching identity characteristics (such as similar email association) or knowledge (based on predetermined questions) are able to access data associated with particular facets. Within these faceted borders, you can secure different types of information that reveal aspects of your identity including demographic data, e-commerce habits, documents and media, and contact access.

SecureId offers you an interactive visual landscape for articulating your identity facets and associating appropriate data with them. Through this mechanism, you can quickly see who has access to what aspects of your self. By presenting you with a portrait of your digital identity, SecureId also gives you a virtual mirror to your social performance, an awareness that is taken for granted in the physical world.

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