What if you could login to all the sites that you are a member of with only one login and password? All of that could become possible with the broad acceptance of a standard called OpenID. I hadn’t heard of OpenID until recently when the standard was discussed in relation to one of my client projects. Since then I have been hearing more and more about the proliferation of the OpenID standard. Logging in to websites could become much easier with the acceptance of this digital identity standard. How do you login to a site that accepts OpenID? According to their website:
To login to an OpenID-enabled website (even one you’ve never been to before), just type your OpenID URI. The website will then redirect you to your OpenID Provider to login using whatever credentials it requires. Once authenticated, your OpenID provider will send you back to the website with the necessary credentials to log you in. By using Strong Authentication where needed, the OpenID Framework can be used for all types of transactions, both extending the use of pure single-sign-on as well as the sensitivity of data shared.
By logging in to a site that accepts OpenID, you are granting that site access to the information that you have selected to share via your OpenID provider. While I think that OpenID has a long way to go until it is accepted as the primary login/registration method for websites, it is the front-runner in the digital identity world. With the integration of OpenID in to Firefox 3.0, great strides are being made to ensure the acceptance of the new standard. I think the primary barrier to success is going to be acceptance by the mainstream web users. I believe the implementation of OpenID by a major web portal (Google, Yahoo, etc) will serve as the tipping point.