June 14, 2005

Digital identity: Send lawyers, guns, and money

Author: Roger Smith

SAN FRANCISCO -- Transportation metaphors were much in evidence during all four days of the Digital Identity World 2005 Conference here at the Hyatt Embarcadero. In a wide-ranging keynote, Jamie Lewis, CEO and Research Chair of the Burton Group, said that the over next five years the emergence of a standards-based, federated communications infrastructure is inevitable. "Until now, big vendors have subsidized 'roads,' or infrastructure, as opposed to building great cars and trucks. They've been fighting over the composition of the asphalt rather than building great solutions."

Lewis said that he expects open source software approaches, such as Identity Commons, Sxip, and LID, to have a major impact in moving the industry toward a common user-centric identity management framework, where end-users will have more control over their identity information in commercial, social and other contexts.

"Federation is the most reasonable idea we've had so far," Lewis said. "We need an identity infrastructure that accommodates the reality of multiple, federated identity domains, that can support many different identity views and contexts. An über identity system flies in the face of experience: identity connections between communities won't form because we have an über-GUID and a registry."


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