Not only a great Jackie Chan film but also a question we’re asked many, many times every day on the Internet.
I spent a couple of hours this afternoon revisiting openID and the whole concept of single-sign-on authentication systems. This approach is different from the doomed systems previously pushed by Microsoft (Passport), Yahoo! (BBAuth), et alia in which a single organisation wanted control of your online identity (and preferably your credit card details too) by instead opening up a totally decentralised system to fully embrace open source software ideals.
Despite the feeling with some that 2007 will be the “year of identity” I just can’t see it. This isn’t anything I could see a lot of my friends using, let alone my mother. For a start, you need a URI to tie your identity to. The person that can get something simple, secure, accessible to Joe Punchclock and expandable to maybe even include a notion of “trust” could be in a very enviable position.
Needless to say I’m thinking about it . . . a lot.