Open APIs Crucial

Olivier Travers writes of the need for open APIs. We at Identity Commons consider open APIs to be crucial (as well as open governance, open privacy and security mechanisms, etc.).

Jon Udell on digital identity and Internet governance

One of my favorite technology bloggers, Jon Udell, mentioned Identity Commons in his blog today. But even he got a part of the picture wrong. I don't know how we're going to do it, but we've got to get our message clearer.

John quotes Owen Davis as saying that [global] i-names will be priced similarly to DNS names. My goal (and I believe Owen shares it) as founder of (the first i-broker) is to provide [community] i-names for free as soon as possible.

Slashdotted (We're not centralized!)

Wow - we just got Slashdotted! (And our servers seem to have withstood a sustained load over six times what their previous peak had been - whew!) Anyway, it seems clear that our messaging around how we work has got some holes in it...

First, it appears many people think that this is a centralized system. Actually, i-brokers, which are based on the open OASIS XRI, XDI and SAML standards, are not centralized.

2idi's Open Source Vision

With Identity Commons going live this past Monday, I finally had a moment to breathe and write a bit about our business model, which depends upon our software being open source and available.

At 2idi (disclaimer: I am a co-founder) we are building open source software to give people complete control over their personal information.

We are basing our technology on a new, open (OASIS) standard called XRI that provides, among other things, data portability.

John Beatty Followup

Finally following up to a blog entry by John Beatty regarding a conversation he and I had back in June at Planetwork.

FOAF meets XRI

FOAF uses the mbox field as a primary key. Here's a super-simple FOAF record:

Virtual Rights

Jaco Aizenman just wrote me via the Anonymity group of orkut asking for

any comments you may have on Virtual Rights and Virtual Identity.

Details on:

Virtual Rights:

  1. To have a Virtual Identity
  2. Not to have a Virtual Identity

Identity Commons

We're trying out new ways of saying what we do. Here's one I sent a friend this evening...

The gist of what we're up to involves returning control over people's identities to the rightful owners - the people themselves. Today, many corporations each own bits and pieces of one's identity, and buy, sell and trade this information for their profit. A huge additional expense is incurred by each of these corps in trying to keep the data accurate and up-to-date, such as when people move, etc.


At the Identity Commons we're building a persistent global and/or local identity infrastructure using the OASIS standard for Extensible Resource Identifiers (XRI).


As I continue to work with Identity Commons, a colleague just pointed me to SharedId which is

... an authentication service that allows web users to share their personal information in a controlled manner with their favorite websites. SharedID is built on the open standards RSS, RDF and FOAF. []

While this sounds promising, unfortunately SharedId is exactly the wrong thing.

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