There is a growing movement towards structured identity management on the internet.
OpenID is gaining rapid acceptance as the de-facto standard for open membership.
The Higgins Trust Framework incorporates this sort of model, and it is apparent that the new Windows Vista CardSpace will do the same.
Trust is a very complex subject in computing, and as time goes on, the previous ‘Newtonian’ certainty has been supplanted by a more ‘Quantum’ approach. We still lack a substantive method for finding out who is sitting at the desk, pressing the keys. There is a complex relationship – if I trust Livejournal to be secure, reliable and reputable, it’s likely that I will be happy to accept an individual’s credentials. OpenID does not purport to solve this problem, as ‘trust requires identity first’.