The Limited Liability Persona (LLP)

In Jamie Lewis‘s talk at Digital ID World this morning, one idea stood out as a real mind-bender: the Limited Liability Persona (LLP). Jamie was careful to give credit to several folks from the Burton Group who came up with this idea: Mike Neuenschwander & Lori Rowland. I captured the high-level bullets from Jamie’s slide on this concept:

  • Individuals can have multiple LLPs, each for different modes, roles
  • Compromised LLPs can be shed under certain circumstances
  • Could even be sold, like an online game idenity
  • But LLPs don’t absolve us of civic responsibility, criminal liability
  • Reputation damage, other consequences much like the physical world
  • Legal symmetry between all parties

This is a fascinating new idea that gibes very closely with the emerging new industry of i-brokers. I’m going to give this one a deep think.

UPDATE 2008-01-04: Jaco Aizenmann, trustee from Costa Rica and founder of, has in fact been advancing the concept of a legal “virtual personality” (the best English translation of the Spanish term for “digital identity”) for years now. He has been a passionate advocate since I first met him in 2003 that virtual personality should be a full-fledged legal entity at the same level as a corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship, etc. He helped pioneer the concept in Costa Rica and organized the Virtual Personality forum held at the Costa Rican Congress, 10 May 2005. To my knowledge Costa Rica is the first country considering a constitutional amendment to recognize virtual personality/digital identity as a first class legal entity. You can read more about the legal concept on the virtual personality page at Identity Commons. I look forward to more updates on this from Jaco.


About Drummond Reed

Internet entrepreneur in identity, personal data, and governance frameworks
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