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This paper describes the experience of IBM in creating digital identities for internal and external Web users to support social computing. IBM has sought to deploy pervasive personalization and social computing capabilities on its external Web site but finds itself faced with a number of legacy and disconnected user information systems never intended for this use. IBM has implemented a new Web user identity and profile system that draws from these existing master sources using Web services to present uniform and consistent user information to Web applications. It also provides a mechanism for the collection of user opt-in and privacy choices and provides mechanisms that ensure users' privacy choices are respected. This paper describes the motivating business need and presents the solution architecture, followed by a summary of the results, important but unfulfilled requirements, and a brief outlook for the future of profiling.
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