Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The ethical implications of identity management, web services, grids etc

[Here is an excellent report by UNESCO on the ethical implications of identity management, web services, grids, semantic web, RFID and other emerging ICT technologies. One of the major underpinnings of these new technologies is the need for identity management systems. As this report points out there are some very significant and troubling ethical issues with respect to identity management systems in terms of privacy, security and access to public information. I am constantly amazed at the rush of university CIOs to embrace identity management systems (IdM). There is no better technology than IdM, that can be easily be abused in order to keep track of pesky protestors or those who might have alternate points of view. To my mind universities should be at the vanguard of fighting the deployment of such technologies or at least finding alternate solutions to today's typical IdM platforms. Thanks to Walter Stewart for this pointer -- BSA]