There is widespread recognition that, during the process of digitalisation, much greater care is necessary in relation to the needs of individuals and society. One key area in which tensions exist is identity management. People think that their identities are intrinsic to themselves. Yet organisations represent themselves as 'provisioning' people with their 'identities'. In addition, the model of identity that organisations typically use evidences some important deficiencies. A fresh approach is needed to the model that underpins organisations' management of their relationships with people. This needs to be based on a deeper appreciation by designers of the nature of the phenomena that they seek to document and to exercise control over. A model of those phenomena is needed that is pragmatic, in the sense of fulfilling the needs of information systems (IS) practitioners and organisations, but also of the people whose data the organisation handles. It also needs to reflect metatheoretic insights. This paper presents such a model. It commences by drawing on ontology, epistemology and axiology in order to establish an outline metatheoretic model. The model is articulated, at the conceptual level and at the data modelling level. Initially, a relatively simple model is established, sufficient for inanimate objects and artefacts. The more complex requirements of humans are then addressed. It is contended that the resulting model provides a robust framework for identification and authentication in IS.