Folks have been working toward better online identity for over a decade. It was assumed there was a lot of money in it. (Swayspace, where this image lives, works on developing corporate identities, which is a profitable business.)
Well, there is a lot of money to be saved in better identity. But it's increasingly unclear whether there is much to be made.
For the second time in two days, a major identity project has gone open source. This time it's IBM's Identity Mixer software, donated to the Higgins Project at the Eclipse Foundation. Higgins is a response to Microsoft's InfoCard project.
Identity has proven to be one of those chicken-and-egg problems that defy solution. A solution requires cooperation among merchants, individuals and transaction processors, as well as government entities, across all industries.
Even making solutions open source may not be enough to get everyone on board with a reliable Internet identity standard. Which means your identity will remain as easy to steal as a phone number.