This is very cool. R0ml just posted a typical storytold blog entry about his new vocation. I say this is very cool because I’ve always believed that I should own my personal information. Back in university, I tried my hand at designing an authentication system for the internet that ended up looking much like Firefly (what Passport was called before it was purchased by Microsoft) and Sxip of today.
During the undergraduate symposium where I presented the paper detailing the system, one of the professors asked me, “Doesn’t this system go against the anonymity found on the Internet today?”
At the time, I argued that anonymity didn’t exist on the Internet. A year later, I proved it to myself by tracking down the stalker of one of my ex-girlfriend’s friends (yeah, the whole situation was a bit twisted) via the headers in the email he repeatedly sent her.
I also argued that while you aren’t anonymous, you should be able to own the information that organizations keep about you. I argued then (and I argue today) that if an organization sells your information (or allows it to be stolen!) that you should be compensated… preferably monetarily.
To be able to be associated with your information, I believed that you needed to have a distributed authentication system. Passport is not distributed and I haven’t looked closely to see how decentralized Sxip 2.0 really is. The authentication system isn’t obvious for /ROOT so I’m curious how they protect the data (the “vault” nomenclature is appropriate if accurate).
In any case, it is very interesting to see if they succeed with I’ve always believed: you should own your personal information. Until they do, I’ll keep distributing my own personal misinformation.