Monday, June 08, 2009

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verification: All a Twitter

Twitter news is usually well below my radar, but today's post on the Twitter Blog does deserve some comment.

It seems that Twitter will be rolling out a "verification service" this summer as a way to combat celebrity (and other) impersonators. Why the impersonations should be a problem (since most that I've heard of are patently obvious fakes), I don't know. Except, of course, that Twitter could be sued (and has been) for allowing them.

While the verification service is being rolled out, Twitter advises: "Another way to determine authenticity is to check the official web site of the person for a link back to their Twitter account." That's provided, of course, that the "official" web site has been properly verified!

Not everyone will get the "Verified by Twitter" mark, though, as "...due to the resources required, verification will begin only with a small set." But we are assured that "The experiment will begin with public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes, and other well known individuals at risk of impersonation." I'll be waiting for my invitation...

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

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Kim Cameron: secret RIAA agent?

Kim has an interesting post today, referencing an article ("What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You?" by Charles Duhigg in last week’s New York Times.

Kim correctly points out the major fallacies in the thinking of J. P. Martin, a "math-loving executive at Canadian Tire", who, in 2002, decided to analyze the information his company had collected from credit-card transactions the previous year. For example, Martin notes that "2,220 of 100,000 cardholders who used their credit cards in drinking places missed four payments within the next 12 months." But that's barely 2% of the total, as Kim points out, and hardly conclusive evidence of anything.

I'm right with Cameron for most of his essay, up til the end when he notes:

"When we talk about the need to prevent correlation handles and assembly of information across contexts (for example, in the Laws of Identity and our discussions of anonymity and minimal disclosure technology), we are talking about ways to begin to throw a monkey wrench into an emerging Martinist machine. Mr. Duhigg’s story describes early prototypes of the machinations we see as inevitable should we fail in our bid to create a privacy enhancing identity infrastructure for the digital epoch."
Change "privacy enhancing" to "intellectual property protecting" and it could be a quote from an RIAA press release!

We should never confuse tools with the bad behavior that can be helped by those tools. Data correlation tools, for example, are vitally necessary for automated personalization services and can be a big help to future services such as Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) . After all, it's not Napster that's bad but people who use it to get around copyright laws who are bad. It isn't a cup of coffee that's evil, just people who try to carry one thru airport security. :)

It is easier to forbid the tool rather than to police the behavior but in a democratic society, it's the way we should act.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

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Paul's Desert Island Rule

Paul Madsden has come up with an easy to grasp "Occam's razor" style explanation of what is - and what isn't - "reputation." He posits the Desert Island Rule, which is a:

"...test for whether a given attribute can have a reputation aspect.

Were the entity in question to be located on a desert island with no social contact with others, would the value of the attribute in question be impacted?

That captures my sense of the notion, also.


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