Is Kim Cameron working on Identity "Laws" or Identity "Principles"? That is a topic that is recently getting some play across a couple of blogs (e.g Craig Burton, Jamie Lewis, Shelley Powers). I categorize Kim's 7 thingys as an Identity Rule Set. This is primarily because I have been following the work of Thomas P.M. Barnett. Thomas Barnett is a strategist who has developed a widely respected interpretation for the underlying dynamics of globalization and the way globalization causes and resolves conflict around the world. <sarcasm> Granted, his problem space is significantly less complex than digital identity</sarcasm>, but that won't stop me from borrowing a distinction or two.
One of the key pieces of language Barnett uses is "Rule Set". In his view, conflicts and breakdowns occur when activity races ahead of the Rule Sets that govern that activity. This is a pattern that can be seen in the current situation with digital identity on the Internet. Many systems and practices for dealing with identity have developed organically and tactically and the resulting breakdowns include mass inefficiencies, risk to privacy, barriers to developing new systems, etc.
What Kim is developing is a language for discussing a Rule Set that can govern the ways Identity is handled on the Internet - this is an incredibly generous and ambitious endeavor. That said, I can understand the built in suspicious reaction to his use of the term Laws.
I think Rule Set works for me - and we do need Rule Sets in this area, so in my little world...Identity Rule Set it is.
Side note: Learning and borrowing (OK, stealing) from voices like Thomas Barnett is one of the reasons I call my blog Arbitrage. He is working in a foreign market to mine, yet his methods, processes, and language can be applied in my market and add value. Blogs really facilitate this form of arbitrage – idea arbitrage.