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|18th May 2006, 20:36||#1|
Join Date: May 2002
VeriSign launches free OpenID server
Most Internet users do not eat, sleep, and breathe authentication. Many don't know what "authentication" means. Some can't even spell the word. But everyone who has used the Internet for more than five minutes understands the feeling of overwhelming suckitude that descends when confronted by yet another web site that requires you to create an account in order to perform some trivial action (note to vendors: I don't have to supply a username, password, my address, an e-mail account, and my birthdate to buy a toaster at Target; why do you insist on making me do it online?).
Rather than create a new account at each blog you visit, for instance, OpenID allows you to generate a unique URL that functions as your identity. You simply enter the URL, and the site communicates behind the scenes with your OpenID server to authenticate that you do, in fact, own that URL. The program is thus quite limited, but the limits may actually be a strength. Past efforts at creating a robust single sign-on (such as Microsoft's Passport) have largely failed to live up to the hype, in part because few people want to entrust senstive information like credit card numbers to third parties like Microsoft. VeriSign's endorsement of OpenID suggests that companies now want to start with smaller, more manageable tasks first, things with less at stake. OpenID is also a completely decentralized system with many different registrars, a move designed to alleviate fears about one company collecting too much personal information.
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