New Vendor Consortium Pushes for Digital Information Card

A new vendor consortium focused on promoting industry-wide adoption of online digital identities has been established by Microsoft, Google, Oracle, PayPal, Novell, Equifax, and nine other companies. Its founders say the Information Card Foundation (ICF) hopes to unite industry efforts and vendor products to create Internet-enabled digital identities using information cards.

The idea is to visually represent a person's digital identity in a way that can be shared with online entities through a combination of existing and new data exchange and security protocols, standards, and software. According to a statement from the ICF, consumers will be able to manage the information in their cards, have multiple cards with different levels of detail, and select the card they want to use for any given interaction.

"Rather than logging into web sites with usernames and passwords, information cards let people 'click-in' using a secure digital identity that carries only the specific information needed to enable a transaction," said Charles Andres, executive director for the ICF. "Additionally, businesses will enjoy lower fraud rates, higher affinity with customers, lower risk, and more timely information about their customers and business partners."

"The creation of the ICF is a welcome development," said Jamie Lewis, CEO and research chair of Burton Group. "As a third party, the ICF can drive the development of information card specifications that are independent of vendor implementations. It can also drive vendor-independent branding that advertises compliance with the specifications, and the behind-the-scenes work that real interoperability requires."

As part of its affiliations with other organizations, ICF has applied to be a working group of Identity Commons, a community-driven organization promoting the creation of an open identity layer for the Internet while encouraging the development of "healthy, interoperable communities."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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