Ownership and responsibility in Identity relationships

So I guiltily admit I finally read Bob Blakley’s paper on Identity relationships today.  This is particularily neglect of me considering not only is Bob on my board of directors… but also a dear friend that I discuss these topics often with.   And of course I am in awe.  Bob is really good at laying out the reasoning for things I can only see intuitively.  We of course have had many discussions about the essential nature of relationships to identity.  Obviously I am biased because it is key to a Federation of Social Networks.  I mean what are social networks but a grouping of relationships!

But I would like to add an additional aspect here… that of ownership.  Because of those relationships, that data is never owned by one party or another.  That relationship data is the child of both (or multiple) entities.

With that ownership also comes responsibilities, for both parties and I think that is where the essential aspects of privacy become relevant and addressable. Most in this space think of those relationships as only being in the context of individuals… but I would argue the issues are the same in social network to social network sn2sn style relationships.  Especially since I envision purposely fragmenting social networks instead of people only using one or maybe two.  I actually would like to redefine CRM to include social nets that each can be a “lego” in the construction of a persona.  Rather similar to the new information card but with a more distributed flair rather than being centralized on a desktop application.

For example, say I want to do some documentation on the Transparent Federal Budget.  I would prove my validity by linking to various personas that show appropriate reputation such as the ACLU validating that I was a Legislative Liaison in Texas, that I was on the board of EFF-Austin, that I am currently on the board of TANO, and that I am the founder of the League of Technical Voters, and finally my LinkedIn profile that also has links to people I worked with.  These would hopefully illustrate to readers of my documentation that I am knowledgable in regards to technical issues while documenting those aspects in the Budget.

It would be up to me to create and update those personas.  I have a pretty good reason to manage those relationships with those org’s social nets now because they are part of my reputation.  So the key part is how to get people to be willing to do this in the first place… one key here is trust…

This is the big HINT HINT to businesses out there.  If you wanting to create a social net to help keep your CRM database up to date, this is the value you can give.  But even more than that – how to get customer to share is where relationships REQUIRE TRUST.  To get trust, you need to SHARE ownership of data.  True a business style social network will not get updated all the time but if you aggregate with others… people will have incentive to maintain that relationship. Look at the success of facebook apps.  Now dear business folks imagine not being beholden to one entity…

For example, I don’t go to Yelp everyday. But when I want to tell everyone about a neat restaurant,  I’ll do a review on yelp which then automatically puts it on my facebook and friendfeed.  That is an incentive to me.  It makes it really easy to tell evveryone and I don’t have to try and move all the info to yelp (which by the way I don’t own outright – remember it’s shared.)

It creates a responsibility for both individual and business to maintain the relationship.  It also creates a responsibility between businesses.  Yelp expects that facebook and friendfeed won’t “steal” data (since that data remember isn’t purely Yelp’s either.)  The interesting side effect I believe this could have… is it could become easier and more effective way to handle all this relationship data.   I easily see data brokers evolving…