social identity design

Sam Ladner’s “Don’t think privacy, think identity” article sheds light on a gray area, framing the digital privacy question in terms of identity management. Examining identity in terms of “stigma” vs. “status” shows how mutable and fluid the ideas of privacy and identity are. Her parameters for responsible social identity design include offering concealment and social network filtering tools, limiting aggregation of information, and allowing easy, permanent erasure.

Designers, businesses, and users should also be aware of the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Information Practice Principles, including the following consumer rights:

  1. Notice/Awareness
  2. Choice/Consent
  3. Access/Participation
  4. Integrity/Security
  5. Enforcement/Redress

Digital information is becoming a permanent part of our social identities. Creating thoughtful and responsible identity management tools benefits businesses and users alike, by building relationships based on mutual trust and allowing us to manage our identities in a very human way that will be different for each person and each social interaction.

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