Earlier today, here at the Identity Mashup Conference being put on by the Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, I moderated a panel discussion where the panelists contemplated what happens once software developers start to mashup disaggregated chunks of identity data into browser-based applications that we probably can't even begin to imagine. The reason we can't imagine it is because, in true mashup fashion, mashup developers have a knack for creating software that no one anticipated when the APIs to the data and content those developers are using were first published.
By the end of the panel, I was visualizing a spectrum of attitudes about technological expression of identity that range from the very negative to the very positive. On one end are the warning signs about what could happen if the right checks, balances, and governance aren't in place. On the other end is hope. Hope that idenitity could be tapped in a fashion that serves the greater social good. In an announcement that showed both the promise of the Higgins Trust Framework to work in a variety of identity-relevant contexts, and then one specific context that served as a proof point of how Higgins can help connect transactional networks to social networks for the greater civic good -- an initiative that the Interra Project has taken under its wing. In other words, the Interra Project's implementations, one of which is for Boston's MainStreets Program, is leveraging the Higgins Trust Framework to do what it does.
How did this example work?
I've prepared an image gallery that shows not only how the Higgins Trust Framework enables the federation and synchronization of profile data across domains (it also handles single sign-on), but it shows how it enabled conference attendees to connect their personal transactions to some civic good.