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Identifying my identity column

Last year I contributed to an 'anonymous' column for PC Plus called The Insider. I was going to keep the secret, but I just spotted one of my columns on the PC Plus Web site, with my name on; funnily enough it's one about identity!

Kim Cameron is Microsoft’s identity architect. He’s embarrassed to be called a ‘Microsoft official’. He won an award for knowing that technology has to work in the real world. And he can’t cope with a single extra password so he’s come up with a password-free system for proving your identity that will start showing up in Windows soon. Read on...


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
22nd Mar, 2007 17:03 (UTC)
not if you mean the local service account password question, no; this is a way to get away from making endless usernames and passwords for Web sites and services and to give you a consisten interface for providing identity information within Windows/IE. Relevant for the photo identity site, possibly... it's part of controlling your identity and privacy
22nd Mar, 2007 17:24 (UTC)
Yes, but where's the beef?

It's all very well saying that multiple passwords are a poor means of protecting identity and logging and that something needs to be done about it, but it's very light on detail.

I dispute the fact that Passport has been a 'success'. It was a dismal failure in the beginning, the reliability has only slowly improved and regardless of the passport service, it's still badly used by Microsoft on some of its sites. The only reason people use it is because it's necessary for MSN and various Microsoft sites - I see few others rushing to use it.

Also, it's still effectively a Windows only solution designed to make money for Microsoft. The article implies it will operate in three modes - firstly as a windows technology, second as a web service and third as.. well you can read the protocols and make your own. Not Good Enough. To be a standard it needs free, open source, Unix C code.

If they created a very cheap secure identity fob, with easy revocation controls in conjunction with manufacturers and full co-operation of other operating system providers I might be impressed. Until then, I remain unimpressed whilst single signon or centralised identity authentication remains the preserve of corporates.
22nd Mar, 2007 18:45 (UTC)
yes, this is a column from a long time before InfoCard/CardSpace came out - there is a lot more detail in other pieces I've done - check out the http://marypcb.livejournal.com/tag/infocard tag on the blog for links. There you will see that it's far from a Windows only or MS only system - it's based on WS* and deliberately designed to be part of a metasystem of multiple interacting identity systems.

Why do you think the column says Passport was a success? I don't say Passport is a success. Kim Cameron doesn't say Passport is a success - in fact he analyses exactly what it got wrong.(Expedia kept it after Microsoft sold the site so it's not all MS BTW)

I don't want a cheap fob either; then I'd have to carry 5 fobs for my 5 savings and bank accounts. I want an identity abstraction layer instead of all these silos. CardSpace and infocards are a big part of how we'll get that whether or not they're the technology we end up with. It would be a shame if Microsoft bashing stopped it; Apache and Firefox and Safari developments in CardSpace are already happening so I'm expecting more intelligence than that.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


full steam ahead
Mary Branscombe
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