Names are one of the first things you think about when the subject of identity comes up. Of course, identity is about more than names , but we name almost every object around us, and so names become one of the most common attributes stored in an identity.
Once you've got a bunch of objects with names, you want to be able to find them. Consequently, information technology systems are full of directories . There are directories for files, directories for email addresses, directories for domain names, and even directories for running processes. The simplest directories associate a name with something else, such as a file, address, IP number, or process.
This chapter will discuss names, directories, and the role that these play in digital identity.
When I was CIO of Utah, directory issues seemed to take up a lot of our time and effort. When I became CIO, the state had been using the domain name http://state.ut.us. This domain name was not particularly easy to remember, and when you tacked on one or two subdomains to identify a department or agency, the affect was almost comical. For example, my email address was firstname.lastname@example.org. The Governor remarked that he could almost feel people start to dance to the rhythm when he told them his email address.
In addition to the official domain name, agencies in state government had gotten into the habit of registering domain names in the .org TLD (top-level domain) for every ...