Bookmarked Now, On the Internet, Everyone Knows You’re a Dog (

Digital identification, integrated to greater or lesser degrees, seems an almost inevitable next step in our digital lives, and overall offers promising opportunities to improve our access and controls over the information already spanning the internet about us. But it is crucial that moving forward, digital ID systems are responsibly designed, implemented, and regulated to ensure the necessary privacy and security standards, as well as prevent the abuse of individuals or the perpetuation of inequities against vulnerable populations. While there are important cautions, digital identity has the potential to transform the way we interact with the world, as our “selves” take on new dimensions and opportunities.

Noah Katz and Brenda Leong provide an introduction to digital identity and where it maybe heading in the future. Connecting with so many different users, identity online is a challenge I face in my work in education. I feel my thoughts on the topic sit somewhere between Dave Eggars discussion of TruYou:

Instead, he put all of it, all of every user’s needs and tools, into one pot and invented TruYou—one account, one identity, one password, one payment system, per person. There were no more passwords, no multiple identities. Your devices knew who you were, and your one identity—the TruYou, unbendable and unmaskable—was the person paying, signing up, responding, viewing and reviewing, seeing and being seen. You had to use your real name, and this was tied to your credit cards, your bank, and thus paying for anything was simple. One button for the rest of your life online.(The Circle)

And Kim Stanley Robinson’s YourLock:

People began to share the news that you could transfer everything going on in the rest of your internet life into a single account on YourLock, which was organized as a co-op owned by its users, after which you had secured your data in a quantum-encrypted cage and could use it as a negotiable asset in the global data economy, agreeing to sell your data or not to data-mining operations out there who quickly saw the new lay of the land and began to offer people micro-payments for their data, mainly health information, consumption patterns, and finance. (The Ministry of the Future)

I guess the question is who owns the data?

Bookmarked #162: Minimum Viable Self by Drew Austin (Kneeling Bus)

Offline we exist by default; online we have to post our way into selfhood. Reality, as Philip K. Dick said, is that which doesn’t go away when you stop believing in it, and while the digital and physical worlds may be converging as a hybridized domain of lived experience and outward perception, our own sustained presence as individuals is the quality that distinguishes the two.

Drew Austin reflects upon the nature of digital identity and the need to continually sustain it.

It is interesting to think of this alongside David White and Alison Le Cornu’s notion of visitors and residents. Although our klout maybe impacted on no longer being a ‘resident’, the demise still leaves behind a trace in the data.

” Doug Belshaw” in Online personas and liquid modernity – Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel ()

Replied to How & Why You Should Dox Yourself on the Internet (W. Ian O’Byrne)

In the past, I have written and talked about the need to create one canonical URL (address) for yourself online. The need to connect the dots to link together these disparate parts of your digital identity. I’ve been wondering over the last year or so whether that guidance was misguided.

Ian, I am interested in your point about the ‘canonical’ link? Is your concern that it is a good ideal, but not realistic to expect of all people?
Replied to Building Up Your Digital Identity (W. Ian O’Byrne)

When you meet someone new, they meet you in the middle of the story. As humans in a networked society, we quickly go back and Google them to learn more about them before or after we meet. With one hub that you actively build over time, you can send them a string of posts that indicate what you’ve learned, built, and broken. You also give them the opportunity to view the identities that you want to present.

Create the “you” that you want them to meet.

I really like this breakdown Ian. I think that I do an ok job at collecting things, but not sure I do the best job of cherry-picking the creation of the ‘me’ I want others to meet.
Liked Airbnb claims its AI can predict whether guests are psychopaths (Futurism)

According to patent documents reviewed by the Evening Standard, the tool takes into account everything from a user’s criminal record to their social media posts to rate their likelihood of exhibiting “untrustworthy” traits — including narcissism, Machiavellianism, and even psychopathy.

Listened Digital Technology and the lonely from Radio National

The CSIRO’s Paul Tyler on the risks associated with data “re-identification”; and engineer Andrew Rae explains how the new aircraft he’s created can stay airborne for months on end without the need for an engine.

In light of the recent Myki data leaks, Antony Funnell talks with Paul Tyler about the challenges of data and de-identification.
Replied to All is petty, inconstant, and perishable (Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel)

Zooming out a bit, and thinking about this from my own perspective, it’s a good idea to insist on good security practices for your nearest and dearest. Ensure they know how to use password managers and use two-factor authentication on their accounts. If they do this for themselves, they’ll understand how to do it with your accounts when you’re gone.

Thank you for the reflection Doug. I must admit that it is not something that I had necessarily thought about. I think in regards to social media, it makes me glad that I have scripts setup to constantly delete my content.
Liked I Do Not Own Kin Lane | Kin Lane (Kin Lane)

Audrey said something profound the other day which stuck with me. As we were talking about data and data ownership, she stated that, “I do not own me”—-pushing back on a common narrative around data ownership. Highlighting that conversations around the ownership of data are merely a dispossession vehicle for getting us to buy into concepts that you can own people. Muddying the water, and ultimately helping reducing humans to transactions. A photo taken by me or of me is not owned by me. It is me. There is no ownership of my physical or digital self. There is only me. I do not care if you’ve managed to digitally reduce a piece of me to a transaction, it is still me.

Bookmarked Rankin Photography on Instagram: “For my latest series, Selfie Harm 🤳 I photographed teenagers & handed them the image to then edit & filter until they felt the image was…” (Instagram)
This before and after exercise helps highlights the challenges associated with images and identity in the digital age.

via Jeremy Cherfas

Replied to Freshly Brewed Thoughts: August 17, 2018 by Laura Hilliger (

Apparently, no one can remember the word “zythepsary”, nor can they spell it. I’ve thought about setting up a new one, but really, I don’t want to go through the trouble. What do you think? Should I set up something @ since that’s my domain probably forever? Or should I keep Zythepsary forever too because there’s hilarious hidden old things on it like this.

I sometimes think that maybe if I wasn’t so arcane, didn’t have such a weird username or had better Google juice – I can’t believe how many Aaron Davis’ there are and they all seem so much more exciting than me – then maybe I too might have more subscribers etc Then I remember that first and foremost my newsletter is for me.
Bookmarked Building an Instant Life Plan and telling your personal story by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)

I think humans are meant to freestyle; living by too many sets of rules closes you off to new possibilities.

Conversely, having guiding principles, and treating them as a kind of living document, could be helpful.

Ben Werdmüller dive into digital identity and storytelling. He provides a series of quick prompts to help with the process.

Hi! I’m [halfsheet Post-It]

I believe the world is [no more than three regular Post-Its]

I make money by [halfsheet Post-It]

My employers are [no more than three halfsheet Post-Its]

My key work skills are [no more than three regular Post-Its]

My key personal attributes are [no more than three regular Post-Its]

My key lifestyle risks are [three regular Post-Its]

My key work risks are [three regular Post-Its]

Risks parking lot

Above all, to be successful, I need to [three regular Post-Its]

My key next steps are [three regular Post-Its]

This continues on from a past post reimagining the traditional resume, instead focusing on what you are proud of.

I wish there was a place where I could read the story of a person. Everybody’s journey is so different and beautiful; each one leads to who we are. It would be the anti-LinkedIn. And because you wouldn’t “engage with brands”, it would be the anti-Facebook, too. Instead, it would be a record of the beauty and diversity of humanity, and a thing to point to when someone asks, “who are you?”

I am also reminded of Doug Belshaw’s thoughts on emojis, identity and trust.

Bookmarked Better visions of ourselves: Human futures, user data, & The Selfish Ledger (W. Ian O'Byrne)

I think there is a reasoned response to technopanic. Perhaps a sense of technoagency is necessary. Now more than ever, faster than ever, technology is driving change. The future is an unknown, and that scares us. However, we can overcome these fears and utilize these new technologies to better equip ourselves and steer us in a positive direction.

Ian O’Byrne reflects on the internal video produced by Google Project X focusing on speculative design the notion of a ledger that does not actually belong to the user, but managed by some grand AI.

Although this was designed as a case of ‘what if’, it is a reminder of what could happen. It therefore provides a useful provocation, especially in light of Cambridge Analytica and GDPR. O’Byrne suggests that this is an opportunity to take ownership of our ledger, something in part captured by the #IndieWeb.

I agree with the thinking about this ledger, but do not agree with how it is situated in the video. I would see an opportunity for the individual to determine what information comes in to the ledger, and how it is displayed. As an example, each of the arrows coming pointing in to the ledger could be streams of information from your website, Twitter feed, Strava running app, and any other metrics you’d like to add. Each of these would come in with a modified read/write access, and sharing settings from the originating app/program/service. As the individual, you’d be in control of dictating what you present, and how you present this information in your ledger.

Interestingly, Douglas Rushkoff made the case in a recent episode of Team Human for including less not more on the ledger: