Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

inames -- Threat or Menace?

One of the hot new ideas in the Identity space is the notion of the "iname" -- an identity indirection that serves as a wrapper for your email, URL, phone number and whatever else. You register for an iname, and that gives you a handle that you can pass around (eg, "=jducoeur"), via which people can contact you indirectly, without necessarily exposing your actual addresses or getting rigidly bound to them.

And my reaction to this whole thing is, "This is a good idea why?" It's yet another more or less flat namespace (exactly as hierarchical as DNS, far as I can tell). It's yet another namespace that seems to be open to squatting. It's still dependent on brokers. It seems to be exactly as good as DNS, in pretty much every important respect.

Honestly, I find the whole idea daft -- it fails to solve any of the interesting problems, and seems to be very much yesterday's technology. It adds a layer of complexity for no obvious benefit. (Unlike systems like OpenID or CardSpace, which have their flaws but are at least adding new and useful benefits.) I am completely failing to understand why otherwise-sensible people seem to be enchanted by it. Can anyone explain the attraction to me?
Tags: identity, technology

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