Gradient of trust

Commenting on a piece by Phil Windley which proposes a “law of symmetry“, Robin Wilton of Sun makes some points which I think are both very important and beautifully expressed:

Well, I have to say, with all due respect to Phil, that I absolutely disagree with the views he expresses about the nature of these relationships. In my view:

1 – Trust is far more frequently an asymmetric relationship than a symmetric one – and the retail example is never going to support his argument. A retail shop deliberately exposes itself and its wares to public access (pretty hard to sell stuff if it doesn't!); it's in the store's interest to encourage Kim to say “I shop at Phil's!”. A retail customer has a long-standing (and, if s/he pays with cash, generally well-founded) expectation of anonymity, and it is not usually in the retail customer's interest to have their preferences and behaviour disclosed to third parties.

2 – Trust is very often not only directional (Law 4), but also transitive and subject to ‘gradients’. On the strength of your birth certificate, you can get a passport; you can use that to get an airline ticket; you can use that to get a boarding pass. You can't use your boarding pass as a substitute for a birth certificate, because at each step in this cycle you have (maybe unwittingly) been sliding downhill in the trust stakes.

Robin has started a blog which will have an identity theme. He has a wide reputation as a thoughtful person so I appreciate his comments on our conversation here, which encourage me in thinking the identity big bang is moving closer.

Just a quick post to link to Kim Cameron‘s excellent Identity-related blog.
There is a wealth of good thought here, as well as many links to other
relevant info.

It‘s invidious to single out one entry – so browse around while you are
there. However, this post on the UK identity debate is particularly timely.

Kim‘s blog has gained a lot of air-time (rightly) because of his
forumlation of the “Seven Laws of Identity”.

A particularly useful quality of the Laws of Identity is the
way in which they take technology specifics out of the discussion
to enable an objective and pragmatic discussion of the issues
and success factors. There‘s benefit in that for all…

In today's post, Robin gives us a good link to this paper on the British ID Card situation: Justice/Clifford-Chance ID Card paper. He says, “It‘s very readable, and some of the stats on technology like facial recognition may surprise you…”, and gives some examples:

“For top systems, where the length of time between acquisition of the images
and the presentation of the new images increases, performance degraded at around 5% per year.“
Where the elapsed time is up to 60 days, the top identification rate is around 80%.“

“Older people are easier to recognise than younger people. For every ten years increase in age,
performance increases by approximately 5% until age 63.”

I suspected there were advantages to being young.

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Kim Cameron

Work on identity.