I have identities all over the Internet, and internally; blog, flickr, linkedin, facebook, etc. each one of them have some form of a personal profile where I get to talk about who I am and what I do.
There are lots of very clever people working on the problem of how I get to these things without having to authenticate everywhere. But I want more than that, I want to be able to have a single place where I have my profile information.
Why should I need to tell each of these systems the same information? If I change my job it should be updated within the relevant systems.
The emerging identity federation model probably has a lot to tell us in this area. People started from the premise that identities should be stored in one place and every other system should trust that one place. This didn’t work, because there wasn’t trust between all of the systems. The same will be true for profiles. I don’t want everyone to see all of the profile, I only want the people to see the parts of my profile that are relevant to the access that they have and the system that they are using.
Technologies like Facebook Connect go someway towards resolving this problem, but I’m not sure that they have really learnt the lessons from the identity people.
I want to be in control of what goes where, but I don’t want to have to maintain the same stuff everywhere.
I’m sure that I’m not alone in thinking that this is a problem, and as the famous quote goes: “"The future is already here – it’s just unevenly distributed." – William Gibson. So I’m also sure that I have missed some form of amazing development in this area that has the potential to make my winging sound like the ramblings of an idiot.
Anyone else think that this is a problem we need to get resolved?