OpenID Connect May Usher In A New Era Of Federated Online Identity

Alex Howard | Tech Republic | May 15, 2014

OpenID Connect is designed to replace username/password authentication. The protocol, in use by Google and others, may solve governments' needs to authenticate users accessing digital services.

Identity is complicated, defined both by our social facts and personal choices. Identity may be that which makes us individual or unique, or signals that we belong to a certain group or community. Our identity speaks to who we are and how others may recognize us using our faces, eyes, fingerprints, handwriting, genes, voices, or even thought patterns. We see ourselves one way, while the outside world may have another impression entirely.

Online and off, identity may be obscured or authenticated, as people may seek, steal, and claim a dizzying range of identities across places and time. Some people may seek anonymity or persistent pseudonymity, seeking to evade censorship, repression, or prosecution, depending upon the states they live within. Others may claim public namespaces on Google, Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks that then enable them to identify themselves to other services. People who work with sensitive data or proprietary information in industry or government may use cards, tokens, and biometric scanners to verify their identity before they can access secure networks or areas...