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November 02, 2006



That looks like an interesting presentation. The point about digital ID figuring on both 'sides' of the anonymity/privacy divide is particularly good - in retrospect it's obvious, but only in retrospect.

I think I'm more pessimistic than you about the prospects for an effective politics of identity, or even for much of an 'arms race'. I also think your binary opposition needs to be broken down further, or perhaps cross-tabulated with the earlier traditional/modern pairing. I mean, resistance to your dystopian vision of a managerially-imposed, ubiquitously readable single identity could be articulated on the grounds that I should be free to use one identity in Second Life, another on my blog and a third on eBay - but it could also be articulated (perhaps more effectively) on the grounds that I should be free to be a researcher in the morning, a parent in the afternoon, a musician in the evening and a TV viewer at night, without anyone but me being able to put together all those activities and their associated identities. The opposition between leaving a trail and not doing so seems more fundamental than the opposition between leaving one trail and leaving several.

Will Davies

Well in that case it all comes down to ID Cards (and other state services such as NHS IT), because they are the only technologies which currently *force* you to leave a trail. This is why they are controversial.

If you don't want to leave a trail on eBay, don't use eBay. And there are plenty of other aspects of your identity that you could play with, choose and lose which state-centric ID technologies don't touch on.

The problem is that most 'services' do now require you to leave a trail (banks, public services, Tescos), so the political question for privacy activists is whether you should be entitled to a service (or entitled to live in a society where such services exist) without leaving a trail.

Pablo Rodríguez

How about posting your presentation in PDF format instead of PowerPoint?

So compatibility problems (even different versions of MS products are not 100% compatible) and font related problems would be avoided.

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