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<nettime> Ippolita Collective, In the Facebook Aquarium, Part One,
Patrice Riemens on Mon, 10 Mar 2014 02:04:33 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Ippolita Collective, In the Facebook Aquarium, Part One,


After my return from Italy I am resuming the serialisation of the Facebook
Aquarium. However, due to many distractions in the Low Countries, it might
go slower than under the majestic mountains of Northen Italy.
Cheerio, p+2D! (from Sunny Groningen)


Ippolita Collective, In the Facebook Aquarium, Part One, section 7 (contd.)
(Privacy no more: the ideology of radical transparency)


According to Zuckerberg, improvements are constantly made in order to
enhance users' on-line security, but these do not solve the decisive
problem: (user) identity, understood in this context as authenticity. In
order to trust a friend, whether in on- or off-line life, it is first
necessary to be really sure that sHe is really ... sHe, and thus we need
to authenticate her or his identity. But, for the time being, users of
social networks do not manage themselves the authenticity of their own
identity. This verification is done for them by algorithmic systems, run
by for-profit firms which offer these (social networking) services for
free. This way we have arrived to the somewhat paradoxical situation that
in order to 'access ourselves', that is to access our e-mails, our
Facebook pages, Twitter account, etc. we have become accustomed to prove
that we are who we are by way of identifiers and passwords. Distributed
authentification systems, as used by Facebook Connect, Google Friend
Connect, or OpenID have a tendency to shift the authentification problem
somewhere else: they have become the ones which globally vouch for our
identity. Are you who you are (i.e. pretend to be) is the question an
on-line service we are accessing for the first time will ask. Please click
here and let us check out your data on your Facebook profile, where, as is
generally assumed, you only tell the truth. To authentify oneself hence
means to deliver authenticity, meaning literally, to ensure that 'the
same' (/autos/) is 'the authority' and that this authority comes from the
inner 'me' (/entos < intus/) , and not from some third person outside
(us). With other words: /autos-entos/ me myself, being the authority for
me, myself. I have created my (own) identity and I am managing it myself.
This of course entails that I am able to give a meaning to my identity and
that I am able to communicate that meaning in an intelligible manner. This
necessitates that users are both autonomous, and competent in handling
digital instruments. In the practice it should be enough for on-line
services I am accessing through search engines to stamp (earmark) my
entry, without going out for data whose sole aim is profiling. Think of
the stamp you get at a music venue, without the organisation asking
spectators for their IDcards, demanding to know who their friends are, or
ask them about their tastes and preferences, or to tell wether they are in
a sentimental relationship or not, in short, all the informations that are
available to the services which manage our on-line identities.

According to Zuckerberg, improvements are constantly made in order to
enhance users'on-line security, but these do not solve the decisive
problem: (user) identity, understood in this context as authenticity. In
order to trust a friend, whether in on- or off-line life, it is first
necessary to be really sure that we really have to do with her or him, and
thus we need to authenticate her or his identity. But, for the time being,
users of social networks do not manage themselves the authenticity of
their own identity. This verification is done for them by algorithmic
systems, run by for-profit firms which offer these (social networking)
services for free. This way we have arrived to the somewhat paradoxical
situation that in order to 'access ourselves', that is to our e-mails, to
our Facebook pages, Twitter account, etc. we have become accustomed to
prove that we are who we are by way of identiofiers and passwords.
Distributed authentication systems, as used by Facebook Connect, Google
Friend Connect, or OpenID have a tendency to shift the authentication
problem somewhere else: they have become the ones which globally vouch for
our identity. Are you who you are (i.e. pretend to be)? is the question an
on-line service we are accessing for the first time will ask. Please click
here and let us check out your data on your Facebook profile, where, as is
generally assumed, you only tell the truth. To authentify oneself hence
means to deliver authenticity, meaning literally, to ensure that 'the
same' (/autos/) is 'the authority' and that this authority comes from our
inner 'me' (/entos < intus/) , and not from some third person outside
(us). With other words: /autos-entos/ me myself, being the authority for
me, myself. I have created my (own) identity and I am managing it myself.
This of course entails that I am able to give a meaning to my identity and
that  I am able to communicate that meaning in an understandable manner.
This necessitates that users are both autonomous, and competent in
handling digital instruments. In the practice it should be enough for
on-line services I am accessing through search engines to stamp (earmark)
my entry, without going out for data which aim only at profiling. Think of
the stamp you get at a music venue, without the organisation asking
spectators for their IDcards, demanding to know who their friends are, or
bout their tastes and preferences, or to tell wether they are in a
relationship or not, in short, all the information that are available to
the services which manage our on-line identities. That somebody is able to
identify (authenticate) someone else from the outside amounts to identity
theft. Unfortunately, this is what often happens when one fills a
registration form in order to access a new on-line service.

The correct ideological position here would be to shield the
authentication process itself, that is the proofing process of identity.
This is far too important an issue to be left into someone or something
else's hand - like machines, institutions of commercial firms, which are
all out to get some kind of profile out of us instead of simply checking
our identity and securize our browsing. And which do all this in the
frantic expectation to be able to sell us some totally useless but highly
customized junk, or to sell us to the highest bidder in case we would
represent any kind of interesting prospect, for the police, or for an
intelligence service, or an authoritarian government  ... Thus, in the
name of radical transparancy,  we are enthusiatically conniving to an ever
more precise profiling (of ourselves) thanks to which social enginering
has now got at its fingertips an incredibly vast domain of investigation .


(to be continued)

Next time : Free markets and financial bubbles



-----------------------------
Translated by Patrice Riemens
This translation project is supported and facilitated by:
The Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
(http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/portal/)
The Antenna Foundation, Nijmegen
(http://www.antenna.nl - Dutch site)
(http://www.antenna.nl/indexeng.html - english site under construction)
Casa Nostra, Vogogna-Ossola, Italy


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