Staite, Christopher (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The definition of identity varies, and on the Internet it can be difficult to keep track of. Rather than trying to discuss the philosophical question of "who am I?", I like to define your digital identity as the information you place on the Internet (actively or passively). Managing this identity comes down to what information you give out and how to protect and modify that information. This thesis focuses on the latter half, the protection and modification of online identities and only skims the realms of protecting the information given to third parties.
A distinct lack of drive in the development of technologies for managing authentication has dogged the Internet for some time. Numerous efforts have been made to simplify administration, but open protocols meant for simplifying the user experience have had little promotion and ended up forgotten or used to simplify administration. The question that needs to be answered, as usual in research, is why? Studies have shown that password fatigue is a very real issue and identity theft is increasing. Companies will always optimise their time and resources, but academics need to focus their work on optimising the user experience.
In this thesis, a study of existing work produces a methodology to evaluate previous developments. This aids in determining where progress has been made in previous iterations and how, leading to a new development in identity management focussed on the needs of the end user. Finally, two implementations are created to realise this new form of identity management.
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