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D5.2b: ID-related Crime: Towards a Common Ground for Interdisciplinary Research

Introduction  Title:
 Establishing persons as entities in social systems


Identity Change, Identity Fraud and Identity Theft from a sociological point of view

The definition of "identity fraud" is often primarily attributed to the existence of damaging motives or actions of an "identity fraudster". The disadvantage of this definition is that, on the basis of the persons’ actions, the motive can be concluded or assumed only indirectly. In this chapter we extend the scope of analysis and introduce a categorisation of types of "identity fraud" on the basis of an operative approach that connects the various types of "identity fraud" with socially observable facts (within processes) of addressability, expectation concepts and authentication procedures. This enables a perspective for  

  • inspecting the types of adequate addressing (e.g. if it is directed personally or by use of the broadcasting method), 

  • understanding the reasonableness of certain expectation concepts for typical, socially different situations with regard to their functionality, scope, and purpose, and 

  • observing and evaluating the different authentication procedures and their risks in different types of social systems. 


This approach not only allows us to define the various types of identity fraud, it also enables us to provide a more detailed description of possible counter measures than the approach that relies on people’s motives. The construction of different methods of address creation, creation of expectation, and authentication procedures of the different types of social systems can be used as the starting point for the development of counter measures. 


Introduction  fidis-wp5-del5.2b.ID-related_crime_03.sxw  Establishing persons as entities in social systems
Denis Royer 16 / 44