Information Cards are an important part of the Identity Metasystem
, the conceptual combination of different parties and technologies into a single model for representing and sharing identity information.
An information card itself is a UI representation of an identity; a graphical placeholder representing the availability of information about you and the source of that information. This graphical metaphor is closest to the cards in your wallet, which may get you into a club, check out a book from the library, open electronic doors at the office, or allow you to quickly purchase goods. Your cards are represented by an Identity Selector
, which filters out the cards you may have which are inappropriate and lets the user pick what is shared. The actual digital identity is retrieved and shared once the user selects an appropriate card to use.Figure: Identity SelectorTypes of Identities
There are generally considered to be two different kinds of identities represented by information cards. These are useful for different scenarios.
- Self-issued identity, created by a local Identity Provider, allows the user to have cards containing information which you have specified. This is similar to the existing internet registration forms; the information is not supplied by a trusted party, but is potentially verified by the site receiving it.
This is the easiest mode to implement from a business perspective, as it does not require a relationship with another new party
- Managed Identity, created by a separate Identity Provider, allows the user to present information from an existing organization. This is similar to existing forms of identification, which rely on an existing trust or relationship with the issuer of the presented card or document.
This is more difficult to implement, as business and technical coordination are required between the party receiving the digital identity and the party issuing it.