Identity Buzzword

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I'm no big fan of word "identity". Think a big about the Webster's definition of "identity":
1. The state or quality of being identical, or the same; sameness.
2. The condition of being the same with something described or asserted, or of possessing a character claimed; as, to establish the identity of stolen goods.
3. (Math.) An identical equation.
This looks like a mathematical equality operator definition. It is far away from the multi-faceted polymorph ever-changing thing that is described by "digital identity" concepts.

You may also find a more "social" definition of word "identity" (WordNet):

1: the distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity; ...
2: the individual characteristics by which a thing or person is recognized or known; ...
But I think that you are not interacting with the "individual" in the digital world. You are interacting with some representation of him that may not be identical to the real-world person.

Think about this blog. How can you be sure that it is indeed Radovan Semancik that have written these lines. How you can be sure that Radovan Semancik even exists? But does it even matter, as long as you like this site? It is not the real-world identity that matters in this weird digital world. It is the "persona" that matters. The part of the personality that is visibly presented.

As long as you like the way as the persona presents itself, as it acts, you do not need to know the link to the real-world entity behind it. That's the same as in normal social interactions in the real-world. When you meet someone you will not ask for an goverment-issued ID document that will state the identity of the person you met. You will likely believe the name that he tells you. And you will judge him by his acts ("persona"), not his name or SSN ("identity").

Forget the "Identity", think about "Persona".

BTW: "Identity" is really a nice buzzword. It sound good. Say it for yourself: "Identity Management", "Identity Technology". It sounds trustworthy. It sounds like it really means something. Great buzzword, indeed. I can understand why sales people use it. But we should better avoid it, anyway.