Sunday, February 27, 2005, 8:13 PM

The Digital Subsumes the Physical

Want one more reason why strong digital identity is important?

Over the last few decades, an increasing number of our physical/analog devices are becoming digital. From entertainment (LPs to CDs, 8mm to DVDs), to mail (letters to email/SMS), to markets (NYSE to NASDAQ), to photos (Kodak to Sony), to contracts (signatures to signed hashes).

Guess what's also going over to the digital? The lock! The thing that prevents people from just walking into our homes and offices (especially offices: see Computer, physical security expected to merge) is now becoming a digital thing. The thing that prevents thieves from driving away with your car is now digital. There's even a term for stealing codes for digital locks of cars -- code-grabbing. (See Pilot Commandeers Car Locks).

Our phsical security is now dependent on digital identities -- not very strong ones at that. How soon will the lack of strong digital identities in the digital domain become a publicly recognized physical safety risk issue (like identity theft is a recognized financial safety risk issue)?

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