I read this in hard copy on the way to the plane just before heading home from BlogHer. I just about fell off my chair…
Tractis, its creators say, is no less than a comprehensive legal system for the Internet nation. “The biggest problem with online contracts now is enforcement,” says David Blanco, the Madrid-based CEO of Negonation. “If you reach an agreement with another person and something goes wrong, how do you enforce the contract and in which jurisdiction? How do you know the true identity of someone calling himself firstname.lastname@example.org?”
To solve that kind of problem, Tractis will offer a comprehensive range of trust and verification systems – and take advantage of controversial national ID cards. There are already 600,000 of the cards issued in Spain; similar ones are compulsory in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal. The United Kingdom is set to roll them out in 2010. Insert your ID card into a smartcard reader and Tractis will instantly verify it with your country’s database.
That doesn’t mean citizens of countries without national ID cards, like the United States, are left out. Tractis can also authenticate online identity via OpenID, a security standard now supported by Microsoft Vista, Firefox, and AOL. The final agreement can carry a digital certificate that in most countries, including the United States, has the same legal weight as a handwritten signature.
I wonder how they got it so wrong? Was it Tractis that said these things and the reporter didn’t bother checking the facts? or we is it us…the OpenID community not communicating clearly enough?
I mean OpenID is great It does do ‘authentication‘ in the technical sense. It is not a replacement for National ID card, it is not a ‘security standard’, It does not do validation (checking that you are linked to a ‘real’ identity that is yours) or enrollment (getting you signed into a system).
Maybe Negonation (the company behind Tractis) has plans to have a validated OpenID service? Hopefully they are going to come to DIDW and IIW.
They certainly have ambitious aims in creating trust on the web..
Negonation is commited to create secure and trustworthy electronic commerce, above the legislative islands. We’re aware that the words “secure” and “trustworthy” are difficult to define, more a subjective sensation than a concrete objective. The solution does not rely on using a standard, technology, hardware process or concrete legislation. It is a combination of many things, with no magic formula. A user will feel secure using Tractis or not. They will trust the service or not. We believe that the formation and support of this forum is a step in the right direction.
They Quote Richard Stallman on the top of their blog…
For businesses to have special political influence means that democracy is ill. The purpose of democracy is to make sure that wealthy people cannot have influence proportional to their wealth. And if they do have more influence than you or I, that means democracy is failing. The laws that they obtain in this way have no moral authority, but they have the capability of doing harm.
Maybe they are going to be using Open Source software so we can trust their system?