Identity for the Internet, Windows and Skype - oh my!

Three loosely coupled bits of news floated around yesterday; interesting enough to spark my interest in taking a look at each of them...

Three loosely coupled bits of news floated around yesterday; interesting enough to spark my interest in taking a look at each of them:

1. OSIS link Internet identity systems: "OSIS" stands for "Open source identity selector" and is a truly significant development (as Phil Windley pointed out). Its server-side work is being done under the Apache project. Its client side and security token service work are being done under the Eclipse project. And its overarching goal is to be a point of interoperability between URL-based identity systems (LID, OpenID, YADIS, SXIP) and token-based identity systems (CardSpace - formerly InfoCards). That goal is the next big hurdle for internet identity, as it would effectively solve the "long tail" problem of identity infrastructure on the web. We're watching this one VERY closely.

2. Windows Live ID crucial to Microsoft's future: Richard MacManus is writing about Windows Live ID - the old passport authentication services that are now acting as the bridge between the web and desktop in the Windows Live space. Richard cites Microsoft's leadership in the "Identity 2.0" space as he references this work. One problem: there are no known plans for Windows Live ID to interoperate with CardSpace. I'd love for Microsoft to contact me and tell me differently. In the meantime, your Windows Live ID that binds your desktop to the web will not interoperate with the CardSpace identity selector you use while on the web. Silos within silos...

3. Skype to address identification concerns: The CSO at Skype is talking about some of their "authentication" problems --i.e., the inability to know who's really at the end of the skype connection (as they have auto-login), and how that's limiting their ability to deploy in business environments. The bigger issue (which he alludes to) is the management of identity policies for skype users; all of which points to the continuing need for integration of identity with IT systems like VoIP. The biggest issue of all is the one hiding in the wings: eBay owns Skype (talking about identity) and PayPal. Anyone? Bueller?

Three bits of news from three different sides of the prism: internet identity, identity bridging the web and desktop, and identity securing a product for enterprise use. Identity is the larger story; the underlying fault-line that is causing ripples across so many technology spaces; the problem that it seems like just about everyone is working to solve.


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