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InfoCard : A standards-based approach to User Authentication. Learn more at MIX

User identity and authentication on the internet currently resembles the “Wild West”, with no formal infrastructure for identifying oneself online or guaranteeing the authenticity of sites you visit. In addition there is an ever increasing number of unscrupulous individual’s intent on stealing your identity for their own gain. This is a huge problem which is beginning to negatively affect user confidence in their online security.

Many in the identity industry are rallying around the vision for “The Identity Metasystem”, proposed by Kim Cameron, as a solution to the problem. Even people like Doc. Searls (editor of Linux Journal) wrote positively about our approach in his article, “Linux for Suits - Independent Identity”, in Sept 2005. It is our hope that together we can solve this problem not only for Windows, but for all platforms.

Is this son of Passport or Passport 2.0, NO ! We have learnt a lot from both our successes and setbacks with Passport which have helped shape this initiative. It is imperative that;

  • There will be many Identity Providers, be they banks, governments, individuals or enterprises.
  • There will be more than one technology that needs to be supported.
  • Users must have control and flexibility in where and how they use their identities online and to whom they release information.
  • This is something that everyone in the industry needs to address.

At MIX, we will showcase a hot new technologies code-named “InfoCard”, which is Microsoft’s first step in implementing a solution for the Identity Metasystem. For those unfamiliar with InfoCard, this is a new authentication technology based on the WS-* industry standards. It is gaining broad industry recognition as a significant step towards to protecting users from phishing and on-line fraud. At the same time InfoCard can reduce the ever increasing complexity around managing login credentials and personal information used to identify yourself on the internet.

At MIX we are hoping to extend the conversation beyond the identity industry and look at how we can apply it to real world scenario’s. I look forward to answering some of your questions here, but Kim, myself and the InfoCard team can’t wait to sit down and discuss this in person with those of you that have the chance to attend MIX06.

Steven R. Woodward, Technical Evangelist, Identity and Access Management

Tag : MIX06  

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