Identity Crisis: How Identification is Overused and Misunderstood Hardcover – May 19 2006
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The libertarian arguments are hardest for me to review. I was already sympathetic to Harper's positions, so I can't say how useful his arguments would be to readers with different views.
I recommend this book to CIOs. If you can deliver better identification products even to a niche market, there's money to be made.
A DRM-free eBook is available from Cato.
Author Jim Harper makes an important distinction between identification and authentication. Differences between the two are nothing to be trifled with. The interests of personal security and privacy hinge upon whether or to what extent either identification or authentication are used by government, private entities, and everyday citizens. Harper persuasively argues that identification is all-too-often overused, and that a process of authentication can often serve our needs most effectively.
Most people have probably never given a thought to identification theory. That certainly holds for this reviewer--until I read this book. Identification is largely a common-sense matter, but Harper brings attention to the conceptual depth attendant to this subject.
Also interesting are Harper's chapters more narrowly focused on privacy and anonymity. Important legal and constitutional matters are briefly discussed, underscoring the need for appropriate identification policies and practices. Of course, this book is accessible to a general audience and is certainly not limited in its audience to lawyers or to any other specialty.
After reading the book, one gets the sense that there is a lot more to say about identification. But a lot of ground is traversed in this work, and the result is highly commendable. Identity Crisis is an important and recommended read.
--JUSTIN OBERMAN, former head of credentialing and identity programs, Transportation Security Administration
"Few people in America have done the kind of critical thinking about identity and identification that Jim Harper does in this book. An understanding of identity management and policy is essential--not only to leaders in government, but those in the commercial sector as well."
--NUALA O'CONNOR KELLY, chief privacy leader, GE, and former chief privacy officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security