Scaling Identity

Centralisation is the common approach to the provision of electronic identity.  We have single signon, OpenID, Personal Clouds, Google ID, Facebook, Apple ID and ID Cards.  All these use the idea that a person has a single identity.  We attempt to scale this by using the same ID with different entities.  However, our relationship with each entity with whom we interact is different and these differences have to be taken into account when we transact using a common identity.

In summary each application and each organisation has a unique identity.  The centralisation approach combines these identities so we have a single unique identity.  This does not scale.  

A solution to scalability is to use the ideas from promise theory and leave identity distributed.

Identic uses these ideas to give individuals a scalable identity.  Each individual makes promises about their identity to each other entity and application with each connection.  Identic gives the individual a way to weakly link the connections and so strengthen promises. The more identity connections a person makes the stronger each individual identity becomes.

Promise theory uses an analogy of combining molecules to explain what is happening.  We can think of a connection between two entities as being a single molecule.  Each molecule exists on its own.  Molecules can connect to other molecules.  The total combination of all the connected molecules becomes a new thing.  For H2O molecules different connections create ice, water, steam, or water vapour. 

When we connect elemental identities together we get different things emerging from the connections. We might get a social identity, a company identity, a government identity an anonymous identity.  Each of these is a different thing.

With electronic identities we connect elemental identities with applications using the "same" data.  The connections might be that the date of birth is connected in each of the elemental identities. This would be useful for a proof of age system. For a voting system we can make another set where electorate of residence is the common connected connected.  

The connections to create an emergent identity require both the data elements and the reason for connecting. This means Identic enables many emergent identities from the same data elements and the same connections.  So, we have a scalable identity system because we create new identities for any purpose.  Each emergent identity does not impact on other identities. Our identity for our age is unrelated to our electorate identity.  An application can connect these two identities to become a voting identity.  This new application has no impact on existing uses of our age or electorate identities.