Data aggregation companies have unwittingly solved the age-old philosophic puzzle of human identity. In answer to the deep metaphysical puzzle of "Who am I, really?" the data aggregators now answer - you are the aggregate sum of your transactions in the marketplace. By aggregating all these transactions out of individual events, each one of which in itself is not particularly significant, the data aggregators have actually constructed an identity for you and me. The unintended consequences of the data warehousing technology occur when this identity escapes you or me because it is misappropriated (i.e., stolen).

This points to a deep policy issue. The data aggregation definition of identity is basically accurate but incomplete. My identity is the aggregation of individual transactions plus the integrity that makes me accountable for those interactions. An individual can begin something new (e.g., a series of additional transactions). The glue holding together my identity is my integrity, independent of any particular transaction.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access