I would like to live in a world of one ID.
And you know what? I don’t like the idea that “risk mitigation” = “solution”. At best, the minimization of risk to near zero means “risk mitigation” ≈ “solution”, but it’s close but not quite.
So, that got me thinking and I came up with two fundamental principles: data convergence and ubiquity. In my mind, the combination of data convergence + ubiquity = uniquity, but, let me expand on that and get your thoughts.
[Disclaimer: This is a half-baked thought exercise, at best. It is not complete, it is not a recommendation, it’s not even a theory – it’s just a thought but one I would like to share because how else do you confirm if it’s meaningful or useful if you don’t let it loose into the arena?]
How many people remember taking Earth Science or Physical Science? You may recall how to locate the epicenter of an earthquake: triangulation. With a minimum of three impacted seismometers, you are then able to find the coordinates to which the center of the earthquake can be assigned. I would call that an example of “convergence” in that, per definition, convergence can be:
a) The coordinated movement of two eyes so that the image of a single point is formed on corresponding retinal areas [i.e., this is how we see]
b) Independent development of similar characters
It’s a fancy-schmancy, potentially inaccurate term, but it’s the one I think provides a sense of how “similar things” (in the earthquake example the different seismometers), together, can produce a single result.
We now exist in a state of where universal “data convergence” is not just a possibility, it’s already there – the question is how do we utilize it in effort of this goal of uniquity?
But, before I even attempt that answer, let’s look at the other term I tossed out there: ubiquity.
If you were ever forced to read Moby Dick then this the root of a vocabulary word you ought never to forget. What was the word? I’ll give you the sentence: “One of the wild suggestings linked with the White Whale was the unearthly conceit that Moby Dick was ubiquitous; that he had actually been encountered in opposite latitudes at one and the same instant of time.” Ubiquitous: omnipresent, everywhere, ever-present, and ubiquity: the state of ubiquitousness.
Your “fill-in-the-blank” [Apple ID, Google ID, Gmail address, Outlook ID, Social Security Number, Passport ID, Twitter ID, Facebook ID, Amazon ID, LinkedIn ID, et al.] is ubiquitous in and of themselves. We know this and many of the above forms of identification are used as authentication for other services to confirm that you are who you say you are. I forgot where I read it, but someone said that Facebook’s biggest value proposition is it’s omnipresence as an authenticator.
And now, here’s the rub
One of those IDs? Crackable. Two of them? Hackable. Three, less so. Four, less so. Five, even less so. With other contextually unique “sub-IDs” like credit card numbers, addresses, prescription IDs, names, work history, school IDs, school affiliations, etc., the combination isn’t so much a scribble-scrabble, but a data cluster, and within that data cluster, clear lines [note: I will update this posting to actually give a visual representation, but not today] that link the fully ubiquitous IDs (let’s call them uIDs), with the contextually unique “sub-IDs”, and so together they create a UID.
Therefore, as a formula: uID [ubiquity] + data convergence [uID + subIDs] = UID [uniquity].
[Note: I know I need to fix that formula, but bear with me, I told you this was half-baked!]
We are so close to being able to discard with passwords in excess of the uIDs like Facebook, Apple, Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And, eventually, once established, how we authenticate with a UID means that the previous passwords should be forgotten…
But those two things are postings for other days. Again, I’m tossing this out there for comment and consideration. I want all of your thoughts.
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