Using a Domain as a Unique ID

Disclaimer: I've been thinking about this concept for a while and I personally think it's great (although riddled with flaws) so I wanted to share it. This is nothing like anything I've every written before and you probably need a bit of an imagination to enjoy it.

The concept is surely flawed in many ways but I want to discuss only the positives for now to stop this article dragging on. Maybe ill go into why it's a bad idea in another post.


Have you considered how long these domains would need to be?

email is already the defactor unique identifier, and those who care tend to use their own domain (ie, for all intents and purposes I am [email protected], and probably always will be).


What about concerns about privacy? etc? What about different personas online? One for games, one for business, etc?


@richo - I don't think they would be much longer than your full name.

@Anon - Good point, this certainly would be something to consider. Privacy would be an obvious concern which isn't easily solved. The different personas is more, you would just have a new domain the same way people do now.

I've thought about this too, and come to many of the same usability and concerns that you have as well. And to some extent, I do tend to use my domain as a unique ID... though not to the givenname.familyname.countrycode example that you've given. Its made sense to me, and if I had a few more controls on my end to navigate some aspects of communication, I'd have something pretty versatile that could be done, for example:
- visit contact.antoinerjwright in a browser and you get my website, but type it into a messaging app and it comes to me as an IM/SMS/MMS type of message
- a company wants to query me for skills, so they go to resume.antoinerjwright and I get a prompt to the device/service of my choosing that someone is asking for a preview of my credentials, I then offer them some kind of constrained access to this with allowances to how many levels they can share/use it after that

It makes sense, and largely means that we would need to rethink a lot about securuty, access, administration, and even the idea of a file. But, if we went this route, a domain as ID, we'd have one amazing neural map of how we connect to one another, and redefine what regional boundaries look like to the extent that latitude and longitude did to the age of colonization.


In the UK it's called the National Insurance number, not the National Security number.


@Bryan, that's for correcting me i'll update that. I did know that as I'm a British National but obviously got myself mixed up.

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