From Bob Blakley's On The Absurdity of "Owning One's Identity":
There are lots of versions of your identity out there, but we'll lump them into two broad categories: your reputation (the story others tell about you), and your self-image (the story you tell about yourself).
Your reputation is my story about you. You can't own this by definition; as soon as you own it, it's no longer my story about you; it instantly becomes an autobiography instead of a reputation.
In principle, controlling the information that makes up your self-image seems easy - you just choose what you tell to whom, and under what conditions. (...) You value your privacy, of course, but you also value other things, like the ability to get a credit card and the ability to travel on airplanes. (...) You have a choice between getting a credit and controlling information about yourself - if you want the credit, you have to give up information somebody else chooses, and you have to do it on somebody else's terms.
I learned about Ceci n'est pas un Bob when he recently left ibm. Good reading if you are interested in identity, privacy, security and risk; and everyone should have at least a mild interest in them. Although I confess that I often skip Bob Blakley and Bruce Schneier when checking my feeds; as Calvin says (*), "Reality continues to ruin my life", and I often don't feel like having my life ruined by their uncomfortable reality reports.
(*) It is always a good thing to keep Calvin and Hobbes quotes at hand.
(Post written while trying to cope with the huge frustration of seeing someone spreading a false and damaging story about me. Yuk.)