In this article I will advocate a uniform global system for single sign on (SSO) to use in web applications. The number of accounts, passwords is steadily increasing. That's not only unpleasant for the user but it is also unsafe.
Not too long ago the only way to pay on internet was by credit card, with all of its problems and limitations. With the introduction of systems like Ideal and Paypal it is now much easier, safer, and people are buying things more easily using the Internet since. That could also be true for a global single sign on system, safeguarding your identity to login on websites. There is currently a battle going on between the major social networks to become the ‘de facto standard’. It is better than the current chaos, however I imagine government agencies cannot make use of such companies. Then there's OpenID , that Google and Centillien support for authentication. Again an improvement, but still not safe enough for use as a digital passport for government services.
Should governments join forces? Maybe, and it could be a step forward if there are strong authentication techniques to use and manage your digital identity, that can be used similar to a passport and ID card on the street. It would thus be like what banks use (debit card and token). This is not likely to happen any time soon, since politics and privacy dominate the discussion instead of safety.
The number of incidents like the one with LinkedIN last week where millions of passwords were stolen could significantly decrease if system would be created, using strong authentication and reliable security in it.
Websites would only use it for authentication and cannot get user data, besides essentials like name and email address to make sure they can contact their users if required.
Within companies the SSO has been on the table for quite some time, but is harder to fix there, since a lot of applications are too old and cannot use web services. On the internet, even though it is much bigger, it is surprisingly less complex to achieve. But even within companies there are quite a few possible solutions to overcome most of the issues.
My view is that internet and SSO will get there eventually. Want to read the original (Dutch) text? Or other news and background articles from NetCare ? Check our profile on Centillien to see the RSS feeds.
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