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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Verisign and OpenID

Could Verisign bring a web2.0 identity effort into the mainstream? They have announced that they are now an OpenID (wiki) Personal Identity Provider (PIP). Verisign is definitely one of the names that comes to mind when thinking of privacy and security, so this does have good potential.

OpenID is a relatively straight-forward identity mechanism that LiveJournal, MovableType/TypePad and others have adopted. You sign up for an Identity (which is a URL) with an Identity Provider (like Verisign), then use that Identity at sites that use the OpenID mechanism. From an analytics perspective, this is nirvana...a universal visitor identifier.

I signed up for the Verisign PIP. It was a fairly painless signup process. Ironically enough however, especially for the leader in the encryption world, the signup process (including entering in a password) is NOT done via SSL. I'm sure they'll fix that soon...

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