The problem is the word “Identity. For a hospital it is your body. But for social networking sites you don’t want to give out your one true identity (AKA name/password) – you need to provide proxy authorization or agency. But the rush to monetize can’t wait for such a sophisticated idea. It’s the same as confusing the DNS with trademark (or telecom with railroads). But even in the hospitals we’re still coming to terms of concepts of agency and informed consent.
I am on the board of a large health clinic for people of all categories and what we realize is that the only ID that will work is one the patient brings in with every visit: their biometric identity, the iris in their eyes.
A tiny fraction of individuals will not have that due to unfortunate circumstances and those can be handled "offline".
This brings up the social shift that underlies all of this, accelerated by the technology - an identity is now no more permanent or significant then a set of clothes.
Using an alias is perfectly legal, and always has been. The most common use is by actors and writers, almost none of which go by or do business under their real names. As long as you do not misrepresent -
What to do about those without a government ID? The government wants to be able to identify and track the citizen/voter/taxpayer version of "you", and be big brother to make sure you're not a terrorist or worse a black democrat. So the threat (beyond the govenment itself) is... everyone wanting to use that ID too like the horribly flawed all powerful social security number, or someone being able to steal that ID. Biometrics make the later rather simple to solve, but that first one is a real problem that those fighting REAL ID and other strong government ID are worried about. And of course to keep things interesting, solving the later problem with biometrics makes the former problem impossible, fun fun!
This brings us to a question that has been on my mind for a while -- Why should I have a single "true identity"?
What's wrong with my maintaining multiple personas, either in the real world or the virtual world?
Adam L. Beberg