Managing multiple identities

Nowadays each person has the opportunity of living multiple lives in parallel, in the real as well as in the virtual world. A trend observed over the last years, first in the research community, but now also in commercial offerings is the increase of interactions between these two worlds, making real-world information accessible to services on the Internet. An area of particular interest is the management of multiple identities, where “identity” is being considered in a broad sense. Issues related with this area include anonymity, pseudonymity, unlinkability and unobservability. The increasingly digital nature of relationships between people is central to dealing with those issues. It is not a question simply of hardware or software, but more importantly of enabling people to enjoy and benefit from their online experiences, while dealing with potential issues. The problems might include a lack of knowledge or training, difficult personal circumstances or simply irritation at the diversity and unpredictability of online privacy and identity mechanisms. It is therefore vital that we should have strong, reliable mechanisms, which can be easily understood and relied upon across the course of a lifetime. This paper introduces the key concepts of electronic identity and presents available methods of managing multiple identities.

Sławomir Górniak - ENISA, John Elliott – Consult Hyperion, Margaret Ford – Consult Hyperion, Dave Birch – Consult Hyperion, Rodica Tirtea - ENISA, Demosthenes Ikonomou - ENISA

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