Michael Rogers, over at MSNBC, has an interesting column discussing the TPM chip. It appears that a bunch of hardware and software companies have been getting together to work on the Trusted Platform Module chip that will house your identity information. The TPM chip is installed in the factory and is assigned an unchangable identifier. In fact, some of these are already in place in corporations, with consumer devices - ranging from PCs to cell phones - to be getting them soon. This will effectively remove the anonymity of the web.
I must admit, my kneejerk reaction is probably much like everyone else's: "Ahhhh! There they go again!" But, then, I realize there is a positive to this. The internet is growing up. It is an unruly child no longer and discipline is starting to be pondered. Sure, this does mean that the footloose and fancy-free days may be ending, but a whole new world of opportunities may be opening, just as it did when we grew up, ourselves.
In his article, "Game Design in the Transfigured World," Allen Varney talks about a world with a simulated reputation, somehwat like ebay feedback ratings. The TPM chip maybe a first step in that direction?