I wanted to see what the landscape was looking like for digital identity also known as unique identifiers and open id’s and single sign on and managing ones’ identity in a network filled world with several different protocols across several different devices and several different companies.


This post only scratches the surface and does not provide any analysis on the different solutions for identity and unique identifiers.


Keeping the integrity of information is key, keeping privacy is key, security is key, using a single standard is also key so I don’t have to manage so many unique id’s, phone numbers, passwords, URL’s, membership and account numbers etc.  This is no simple task in our complex lives.


With a single digital identity or unique identifier we will have the ability to control the network from the sender, (Linked In, Facebook, Outlook, My Family, Business, Visa, Blue Cross etc) the state of the user (working, traveling, sleeping etc.)  and I will also be able to manage the type and format of content being sent to me. (SMS, e-mail, vmail, IM etc).


So I started with this article in the New York Times and started to poke around a little and here are a few people and companies who are attacking the problem.


Companies First


Microsoft Digital ID for Office 2007


Windows LiveID The Microsoft Single Sign On Passport System


Windows CardSapce


Windows CardSpace enables users to provide their digital identities in a familiar, secure and easy way. In the physical world we use business cards, credit cards and membership cards. Online with CardSpace we use a variety of virtual cards to identify ourselves, each retrieving data from an identity provider.  


Information Card Foundation New as of June 2008 Google, Microsoft, PayPal and others collaborate together.


“Advance the use of the Information Card metaphor as a key component of an open, interoperable, royalty-free, user-centric identity layer spanning both the enterprise and the Internet.”


Open ID Directory


VeriSign Identity and Authentication Services


OpenID  consolidated a number of internet identity efforts, built an organization charged with promoting and protecting the efforts of this fantastic community, developed an Intellectual Property Process that will ensure OpenID stays open, brought a number of the major vendors as participants in the community and are seeing the first signs of deployment.


Parity i-cards contain information about you. Some cards you create – they might contain personal information or your preferences and interests. Other cards you collect – perhaps your driver’s license or a credit score. Other cards represent a live link to your favorite web sites for "no-touch" profile updating. I-cards look like real cards, but they are stored in a secure, online wallet that only you can see.


claimID is the free, easy way to manage your online identity with OpenID.



myVidoop is a browser plug in and an identity provider with robust security provided by ConfIdent and a set of customizable features that are second to none.


Identity Bloggers


Mike Jones of Microsoft wrote a paper on the digital identity subject in 2005 and here are a few of the links on how he breaks down the information:


Digital Identity: The Challenge

What is the Identity Metasystem?

Identities Function in Contexts

The Laws of Identity

Roles within the Identity Metasystem

Components of the Identity Metasystem

Benefits of the Identity Metasystem

An Architecture for the Identity Metasystem: WS-* Web Services

Microsoft’s Implementation Plans

What We Learned from Passport



Identity Woman


Kim Cameron’s Blog  


Don Schmidt Blog


Burton Group Identity Blog


Paul Trevithick Blog

Identity Groups


Internet Identity Workshop


Open Source Identity Systems


Microsoft Identity Lab  


Open ID and Card Space Demo  


Identity Management


Burton Group Identity and Strategies Research

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