|What is Digital Identity ?
Digital identity consists of an identity
assertion and the characteristics,sometimes called attributes,that
are collected or observed through our computerized relationships. It is
often as simple as a user name and password. Digital identity is
similar to the more complex concept of identity in the real,analog
world. However,the differences create profound issues as well as
potential for managing our privacy and relationships on the Internet.
The potential comes from the separation of the person from their use
of computers,of the Internet. There are many computer-based activities
where anonymity and complete privacy are possible in a way that they
are not in the real world. The issues come out of society’s need to
link a digital identity to a real person for accountability and trust
in activities like e-Commerce,as well as in conformance to laws.
Federated identity,as developed through initiatives like
Microsoft’s .net Passport program and the open standards under
development in the Liberty Alliance,can help people deal with the
multiplicity of these identities and attributes while protecting their
|biometrics / biometric authentication|
In a security context,biometrics and
biometric authentication refer to using a person’s physical
characteristic in order to authenticate them for access to a resource. |
Some of the characteristics commonly used include those of the eye,
face,voice,fingerprints or the shape of a hand. Since these
characteristics are unique and change very little over time,they offer
strong proof of the person’s identity. Since these authentication
systems are much more expensive to acquire and maintain,they are often
used for access to very sensitive or classified information.
It’s easier to attack the stored comparison statistics or images
than it is to copy the unique physical characteristic so this becomes a
weak point of biometric authentication. These items need to be
carefully secured. In addition,biometrics are usually used as a part
of a two-factor or strong authentication management system where a
password or something known must also be used to gain access.