On July 14, 2006 I wrote a little piece for ITSMWatch which outlined my vision how user centric identity management initiatives and Identity as a Service in the cloud would benefit a new wave of eCommerce applications. In the article I predicted that a consortium of a few select organizations with a) network bandwidth, b) financial clout and c) a public-trusted brand name would be well placed to become the public identity provider of choice and one day make bundles of money.
To stop the funding of terrorists organisations and money laundering in general, governments have introduced a heap of regulations which make it hard to open up a bank account, unless you can meet the most stringent identity verification. Apart from a government issued ID card like a passport; this usually involves providing a number of utility bills, linking the identity of the person to a fixed address.
If you just moved to a different country, this can create a chicken and egg problem, you might not be able to open a utility account without a direct debit mandate from a bank etc.
So here is me daydreaming again, how wonderful it would be if I could just once go through the change of address procedure with my trusted Identity Service Provider and that from then on al the relying parties could just take my new claim of residence as the gospel truth. Not because they are necessarily believers, but because they could sue the Identity Service provider if things on a rare occasion go wrong.
That’s right, errors will still be made around identity, even in the wonderful world of Identity 2.0, but there will be a lot less of them and it will be a lot less hassle. And yes… maybe that’s why a risk insurer should probably be the fourth member of the IdP consortium.