It always happens to me that someone mentions something and then all I’m left to think about afterwards is my online identity.
This time it was @bionuc who tweeted a simple question about login/registration in websites. His thought is that we should replace the 2 distinct scenarios of registration and login with just one new scenario and his question was, what should be the name of that scenario?
I replied suggesting “Remember Me”.
Why did I choose that or how? All I could think of is that right now, I have an online identity… all that I should ask a website is to remember that identity to provide me with services tailored/customized for me. In other words, I’m asking the website to Remember Me.
But the next logical question would be, what is your online identity?
Is it your OpenID? Is it your Facebook? Is it your twitter? Is it your Google ID, your Windows Live ID or what exactly?
Personally, I think Facebook and twitter are doing great jobs establishing themselves as your online ID but I don’t really think this is right.
I think that much like every single country issues some sort of a National ID for its people and it then issues a Passport to identify those people internationally, we need something like a web passport.
We need identity providers, that are independent of the services that we access on different websites. You’d think that this is OpenID but NO, it is not, we shouldn’t have urls or anything to id us, just use some meaningless id, something that’s globally unique, something to identify a person for the rest of his life.
Maybe those providers should be legal entities approved by governments? Maybe they should be the governments themselves?
An even more radical approach, maybe in the world of today, in 2010, it’s time to forget about national ids and passports and those web ids. It’s time for ID, something that’s unique for every single person born on this earth, something that we can use nationally, internationally, online, offline and everywhere. There’s only one me after all!
Some more random thoughts about this ID
- Should people have something about.me public profiles where they announce themselves to the world and let them know certain public stuff about themselves
- When I have my ID, Facebook as an identity provider now should know about it, I will use Facebook to login to other services but doing that will provide those services with my ID
I have no solid definition for this suggested ID, nor do I have the power to push anyone to do anything about it but it always amuses me to think about it from time to time.
Now that this post became more about identity, I’m not even sure about the “Remember Me” name but thanks to it, I wrote all that, so I think I will still stick with it for a while!