Not really an open and shut case

[Dave Birch] Let’s start at the beginning. Surely the most low-hanging of the digital identity fruit is Internet single sign-on. All of us have countless usernames and passwords and are driven to distraction by them. It’s a common experience and a common source of dissatisfaction:

Here’s the one thing I hate about using the web – all the passwords I have to remember to access various internet services. From Facebook, Gmail and Flickr to Amazon, ASB online and my Inland Revenue account, I need to enter a password and user name to log on. I have a different one for each and they are just a handful of the websites I visit. That’s a long list of passwords and I change them regularly which complicates things further.

[From Managing your online identity – 20 Jan 2008 – NZ Herald: Technology News and reviews from New Zealand and the World]

A while back, OpenID was created to provide a simple, distributed solution to this simple, distributed problem. For a while, OpenID lurked in the shadows, of interest only to identity nutters like me. But then it began to gain a little traction

Lately, though, there’s been a spate of OpenID news, highlighted by the announcements that both Yahoo! and Blogger are joining the list of OpenID providers. This means that you can use your Yahoo! or Blogger credentials to log on to sites that take OpenID (though neither one accepts OpenID logins in return; Blogger lets you use an OpenID login to leave comments and Yahoo! says they’re working on it).

[From Web Worker Daily » Archive OpenID: Is it Time to Care Yet? «]

Being the nerd that I am, I immediately went my Yahoo! account when I read this and, sure enough, there was a link to create an OpenID, so I did. I haven’t used it yet, because I’ve now got too many OpenIDs and can’t remember the passwords to all of them and none of them are two factor, but it’s progress I suppose. You can’t argue that momentum isn’t growing…

The OpenID Foundation today announced that Google, IBM, Microsoft, VeriSign and Yahoo! have joined as its first corporate board members.

[From Technology Leaders Join OpenID Foundation to Promote Open Identity Management on the Web]

I imagine that I will soon consolidate down to three or four OpenIDs, much as I have three of four payment cards. My work OpenID, my home OpenID, my games and nonsense OpenID. But I really would like a “serious” two-factor OpenID that I can use to log on to important things, like my bank account and so on.


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