The Stolen Identifier: An Inquiry into the Nature of Identification and the Ontological Status of Information Systems
2011 (English)In: Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2011), Shanghai, China, December 4–7, 2011., Association for Information Systems, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
Based on real-world examples of identity theft, and particularly a recent incident in Sweden, this paper explores the nature of identification from a social ontology point of view. This is contrasted with the traditional representational view, which is shown unable to handle critical aspects related to institutional control of identifiers and identity. Specifically, the paper shows that identification and the definition and allocation of identifiers is an institutional and political rather than scientific process, and that since “identity” in itself is a social construct, the process of identification depends on the institutional context in which the objects to identify exist as valid institutional facts. These institutional objects are often originally generated by the use of information systems, which means that genuine real-world institutional objects and their identifiers can be found within these information systems. This implies that the representational view of information systems with a sharp distinction between the real world outside the information system and the system itself (only seen as a model or perceived state of that real world) cannot be maintained.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Information Systems, 2011.
social ontology, identifiers, speech act, identification, information infrastructure
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject Information Systems
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191463OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-191463DiVA: diva2:585715
2011 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2011), Shanghai, China, December 4–7, 2011.