My employer has recently decided to join the InformationCard Foundation (ICF) and I take some credit for that simple fact, as followers of my different articles and blogs will no doubt understand.
The real exciting news will have to wait for the RSA conference in March, but people in the know, will like me have spotted the ever increasing cooperation and collaboration between the OpenID Foundation and the ICF, so much in fact that in September 2009 together they have responded to Obama’s Open Government Initiative with an Open Identity initiative in which both play equal roles. See FAQ here… This will be taken a level further in March with some major announcements.
In a nutshell the Open Identity initiative means that citizens will be able to use their own choice of digital identity credential (provided by industry) to more easily interact with government websites and services. Hence quite different for instance from the UK Government portal where you have to login with an eight digit alphanumeric key and a similar password, that takes ages to get, you cannot chose yourself and therefore I can never remember.
Before you remark, ‘I don’t see anyone signing their tax return with a Yahoo or Google OpenId’, let me say I totally agree and blogged about this before here.
So let me reassure you, the trust framework announcement based on ICAM will only cover identities that can be used for assurance level 1, so the bar is set quite low at the launch, in order not to loose momentum. So my sentiment is a bit like ‘That may be a small step forward for user friendliness but a giant leap forward user centricity’ as I predict that in a few years we will look back and say: “That was the turning point!”
Levels of Assurance 2 and Non-PKI 3 will hopefully follow later this year and it shouldn’t be that hard to also find a way to bring good old PKI into play for those important events like when you submit your annual tax return.