Internet identity faces crisis

Ontario’s privacy chief has warned that the Internet’s identity framework is coming apart at the seams and won’t be able to contain the explosive growth of interactive Web 2.0 applications.

Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner, presented her argument at an international conference in Toronto last month, hosted by the IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals).

Cavoukian’s paper, entitled Seven Laws of Identity: The Case for Privacy-Embedded Laws of Identity in the Digital Age, pushes for an overhaul of the Internet’s identity management system by embedding stricter privacy policies into the existing architecture.

Cavoukian says the Internet’s identity infrastructure is no longer sustainable in the face of spam, phishing and other online fraud.

“Consumer fears are growing and consumer confidence is dropping as a result of online fraud,” she says.

Her Privacy-Embedded Laws of Identity is an outline of what she believes should be done to develop a universal identity authentication and authorization system.

“What’s needed are improved user control, data minimization techniques, privacy protection and stronger security,” says Cavoukian. “The future of security revolves around identity.” Cavoukian argues in her paper that

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