Liberty Alliance: 1.0 specifications available

At today’s Burton Group Catalyst Conference in San Francisco, the Liberty Alliance announced and released version 1.0 of its specification for simplified user sign-on.

A flock of vendors have announced their plans to support it. Sun announced it will be making a complete announcement tomorrow.

Separately, the Alliance announced 26 new members joining the organization.

Phil Becker, editor of “Digital Identity World”, shares his perspective on the announcements.

But Liberty’s biggest achievement with the Phase 1 specification is likely to be the softening of the market for federated identity. The language of the specification talks of multi-level authentication of users — i.e., the ability to authenticate Johnny’s bank transaction at a different level than Sally’s Amazon purchase. This language is an extension of a core concept of the Phase 1 specification. It allows separate silos of identity to be linked, so that, while Silo B can determine the strength of authentication Silo A used, Silo B cannot at any time learn the data associated with the identity in Silo A.

Peter Drayton shares some of his thoughts about the specifications.

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