A new Declaration of Identity

July 4th saw the release of the “Declaration of Identity”. It’s clever and emotive (at least for Americans). And maybe it’s not supposed to be taken too seriously, but it seems to be another example of the complicating generalisations that I think distract from the real problem: How to make safe the perfectly good identities we already have when we go online?

The declaration asserts “sovereignty over free and independent determination and expression of innate identity”.

Call me pedantic, but it’s not quite right. Digital Identities are proxies for various relationships we have, each of which is almost always framed by the Relying Party, for it is the RP that wears most risk when identification goes wrong. Digital identity might be negotiable in some instances between Subject and RP/IdP, but it’s just not the sort of stuff that belongs to an individual, let alone is “innate”.