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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Identity

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Saturday 10th March 2012

  • Digital Vertigo

    by Andrew Keen

    On the Internet, sharing is a trap. Today's digital cult of the social - which encourages us all to share our ideas, our habits, our friends, even our possessions on the Internet - is an assault on the individual liberty of 21st century men and women. This talk - which draws off Keen's upcoming May 2012 book, "Digital Vertigo" (St Martin's Press) - exposes the illusions and delusions of social media ideologues and reveals the dangers of collective identity and behavior in our social media age. Just as Andrew Keen exposed the idiocy of the Web 2.0 revolution with his 2007 hit "Cult of the Amateur", this talk will reveal the idiocy of our Web 3.0 social revolution.

    At 9:30am to 9:50am, Saturday 10th March

    In Ballroom G, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • How to Be Yourself When Everyone Else Is Faking It

    by Scott Rosenberg and Liz Henry

    "Just be yourself" is great advice -- but it's time to drop that "just," because there's nothing simple about it. Our social existence is rooted in our humanity, but increasingly mediated by machines. On one hand, we try to heed the injunction to be authentic by Being Ourselves online, even as Facebook is attempting to standardize online interaction via our "real" identities; on the other, we're more conscious than ever of the way social media invite us to present our real selves as performances. When a hoax like the Amina Araf "Gay Girl in Damascus" blog is exposed, we feel betrayed. But any identity system that makes life harder for the next would-be Amina Araf to fool us might also serve the interests of repressive governments and invasive marketers. We want it all: authenticity and trusted identity, privacy and the option of anonymity. Can we have it?

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 10th March

    In Longhorn, Omni Downtown

    Coverage audio clip

  • Debate: Should Social Sites Allow Anonymous Users?

    by Cindy Cohn and Colette Vogele

    Every new website that allows users to participate faces the same question: do you require users to use their real names? Facebook has taken a firm position that it will require real names, even at the cost of disappearances of human rights activists around the world. Other sites have suffered as anonymous speakers poison the conversation and use the shield of anonymity to harass women. What's a social site to do? Join two of the Internet's top lawyers, EFF's Legal Director Cindy Cohn and Colette Vogele, as they debate the question.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Longhorn, Omni Downtown

    Coverage audio clip

  • Programming Social Applications

    by Jonathan LeBlanc

    Services like Facebook and Google+ have ingratiated themselves into our online relationships through our social graphs. The problem is that the methods we use for connecting to each other is so divergent from reality, where awkward connection models become the norm. New emerging open source initiatives are driving a new chapter of the social web. This talk will explore the successes and failures of online relationship and sharing models, as well as the emerging technologies that are working to unify social interactions online, such as the Open Graph Protocol, Activity Streams, WebFinger, PubSubHubbub and the Salmon Protocol. As we look into these technologies, we'll explore how cultural identity concepts like tribalism play into how people group themselves innately online. Through grouping and emerging social standards, we'll see how next generation personalization techniques can be applied to user interactions online.

    At 11:00am to 11:20am, Saturday 10th March

    In Ballroom G, Austin Convention Center

  • The Dark Side of Social Networks: Malware & Fraud

    by Paul Judge

    The popularity of Twitter and Facebook make them attractive targets for attackers. The viral features and open APIs make it an efficient medium for attackers. In this talk, we discuss the scale and history of malicious activity on Twitter and Facebook. Based on a comprehensive research study, we demonstrate how attackers respond rapidly to the large increases of users driven by celebrity attention. We highlight popular attack techniques across trending topics, URL shorteners, fake accounts, photo tagging, and fake apps. We show how malware has been designed to steal social network credentials and use them to carry out automated attacks. In order to safeguard the future and usefulness of these platforms, the community and industry must combat these threats and control this malicious activity. We explore ways to safeguard individual users and brands. We also suggest approaches that social network providers should take to improve the security of their networks. This session is part of the Big Data Track sponsored by Gemalto.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Salon FG, Hilton Austin Downtown

Sunday 11th March 2012

  • No Rainy Days: Identity Protection in the Cloud

    by Eric Youngstrom, Francis D'Addario, Oren Hamami and Suzanne Barber

    Cloud computing has made the move from new concept to technology that your mother uses. We now are entrusting so many different types of data to the cloud from financial statements and credit card numbers to our music collection and private emails. Yet how secure is the cloud and how much control do we have over the data that we entrust to it? If that data is stolen, will we know and what can we do? Who has jurisdictional authority over the data we store and under what circumstances can it be given away? This panel will try to answer these questions and more as we explore the impact of the cloud and what it means for personal identity and security.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Sabine, Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown

    Coverage audio clip

  • SSO (Single Sign On): Why Does It Suck So Often?

    by Cynthia Johanson, Matthew Rothenberg, Joseph Smarr and Matt Kelly

    Single sign-on was a great promise: let the big identity providers handle authentication/identity, and your website gets all the benefits of a streamlined registration process for free! Anyone who has ever tried to implement it however, knows it never really works that way. In the real world, it’s a lot more messy: especially when you add in mobile, multiple providers and mixing it up with an existing account system. We’ll discuss best practices for making it work, handling the gnarly edge cases with security and identity issues, and how to make sure the user experience is as painless as possible.Panel will include platform representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • On the Internet, Everyone Knows You're a Dog

    by Michael Sippey, Rick Webb, Jessica Zollman, Heather Champ and Ted Rheingold

    As former Representative Anthony Weiner discovered the hard way, remaining anonymous in this hyper-social world is becoming nearlyimpossible. But what sucks for Anthony Wiener has been great for conversations on the Web – with the rise of authenticated platforms, anonymous comments and posts are giving way to real dialogs between authors and their audiences.
    For example, when comments on popular sites like TechCrunch became tied to real Facebook profiles, the experience went from a juvenile insult-fest to a civil value-add information exchange. There’s undoubtedly progress to be made, but authentication and social platforms are giving us a glimpse of what the future holds: low friction ways to connect your opinion to a piece of content, easier ways to see what your friends care about, and better ways to insert your POV.
    For better or worse, it’s becoming harder to remain anonymous online. In this panel discussion, we will discuss how technology is changing online self-expression.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Capitol A-D, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Personal Identity Management: Why It Matters

    by Fatemeh Khatibloo

    The marketing ecosystem as it stands is unsustainable. Consumers don’t trust marketers to respect their privacy, and unfortunately, marketers have done a poor job explaining how data is collected, managed and applied to improve the customer experience.

    Meanwhile, as consumers leave behind an exponentially growing digital footprint, they’re also becoming increasingly aware that marketers use and sell this data for financial gain. As a result, a nascent industry is developing around consumers’ desire for transparency, portability, privacy and tangible benefits.

    In this session, we’ll share results of research aimed at understanding consumers’ motivators, concerns, and awareness of this ecosystem. We’ll make sense of terms like “VRM,” “data locker,” “personal cloud” and “trust framework,” and provide an overview of the Identity Ecosystem, including the operating models, the frontrunners in each, and how interactive marketers can get ahead of the curve.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Assembly Room, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

Monday 12th March 2012

  • Robot Panelists, AI and the Future of Identity

    by Stephen Reed, John Romano and Bruce Duncan M Ed

    In the future, we aren't going to fight the robots, we're going to become the robots. In fact, it may be even sooner -- like, now. We’ll have an AI-powered panelist taking questions from the audience.Oh, we'll have some great biological panelists, too. They'll discuss artificial intelligence, digital life forms, and the future of identity. Along the way we’ll learn: * Just how close we are to seeing self-aware, digital life forms * How new AI technology might enhance our biological lives * How digital avatars might keep living for you after you dieThe singularity won't be televised, folks. We'll make sure you don't miss it.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Citadel, Driskill Hotel

    Coverage audio clip

  • Saying Good Bye to Your Digital Self

    by Duncan Smith, Dana Herlihey, Brian Fitzpatrick and Alexis Rossi

    April 2011: Friendster announces they would delete their entire database of user photos, posts, and profiles. This was met with an outcry from long-lost members who were not ready to let go of that part of their digital lives. Like Geocities before them, Friendster has a rather contemporary dilemma: what happens when you’re responsible for thousands of digital memories?

    With so much of our lives experienced digitally, the stories we tell and the lives we construct online have become increasingly tied to our real life selves. Our 'digital self' has a memory; one made up of wall posts, status updates, photos, and blogs (or more precisely, data). What happens when these online artifacts are deleted or lost? How much worth do we assign to these digital memories, and what does it mean to lose them forever?

    This not only affects us as individuals, but also has ramifications for understanding and preserving our current cultural and historical moment. Future generations will only have the digital memories we preserve to learn about us; what will archaeologists say when they find a world without Facebook? With such a disposable way of documenting our lives, have social networks set us up for cultural extinction?

    Using Geocities and Friendster as case studies, this panel will explore the issues and possible solutions to the loss of digital memory on both a personal and cultural level.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 12th March

    In Capital Ballroom, Omni Downtown

    Coverage audio clip

Tuesday 13th March 2012

  • Gaming Tools Kids Want to Use

    by Virginia Mcarthur, Alexander Repenning, Tamara Hudgins, Ward Tisdale and David Gerding

    Limited choices exist when kids seek to author, not just play, their own video games. If video games are on track to topple film as the last big media mammoth, how can we build a video game workforce that we need? Instead of reinforcing the divide between artists and programmers, can we get more kids interested in learning the complex work that game development involves, and foster a really great game development community? What kids like to use for game development may surprise you. Come hear what they like, why the like it, and how new tools need to be built to meet the demands of future game developers. Join a conversation about authorship, identity, creativity, and the tools kids really use for developing serious and social games. Gain insight on elements of game tools that kids would use--if they existed!

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Tuesday 13th March

    In Classroom 203, AT&T Conference Center

    Coverage slide deck

  • Creating an Internet of Entities

    by Pete Warden, Drew Vogel, George Oates and Tyler Bell

    The Internet today consists of a morass of partial and redundant content: the ~17m businesses and POI in the US, for example, are duplicated over 1.2 billion website across over 5 million domains. This tangle of duplicate, fragmentary, and often incorrect information ensures that unequivocally identifying a person, place or thing on the Internet will always be a challenge. The members of this panel are working to fix this, and will discuss their projects in the Library, Government, and Big Data sectors to create an Internet where real-world people, places, and things can be referenced unambiguously. It focuses on pragmatic, real-world examples: the panelists from Factual, the Sunlight Foundation, Jetpac, and the Internet Archive each highlight their specific experiences in creating platforms and apps that identify and disambiguate individual entities across applications and verticals, and describe both the pitfalls and benefits of working towards an Internet of Entities.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Creekside I & II, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

    Coverage audio clip

  • Social Media Boundaries: Personal/Personnel Policy

    by Vanessa Rhinesmith, Debra Askanase, Jess Main and Amy Sample Ward

    As our networks expand, our profiles get more public, and our work requires a human face, where do we draw the line between personal and professional identities online? How do we maintain those boundaries for our community members? How do we respond to attacks, opportunities, and over-shares online? When does over-sharing hurt the community? When should you share your own personal stories as a manager, or personally reach out to community members?

    Growing and cultivating an active community also requires that the community manager walk the fine line of personal and professional sharing. Every community manager wonders when and how to professionally cultivate leaders and members to create a thriving community while still being personal. On the reverse side, sometimes community members share too much, which can hurt the health of the community.

    This panel will address these questions and more from experience in nonprofit and public media sectors.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Salon A, AT&T Conference Center