Today IBM and Second Life creator Linden Labs announced a joint project that will develop avatars that can travel between various virtual worlds. This is just one more step toward a unified online identity. This has been a hot topic among geeks for some time now and is just starting to creep into the mainstream web. Bu it's a topic that needs to be addressed -- I mean, if we really are building a user-centric web, what are we doing fooling around with different logins and passwords on every site we visit?
Here are a few other examples of what's out there in the digital identity realm.
Open ID has been gaining traction recently. OpenID is an open-source application that provides users with a “URI” in the same way that web sites have a URL. It allows for ‘authentification’ so that it is secure, and it also allows users to choose which elements of their identity to share. It is used by a number of sites, including Facebook, Digg, Wikipedia, Yahoo, and AOL. Reebok also implemented Open ID in its GoRunEasy.com community site.
Claim ID is a sister to Open ID. It allows user to create a profile with all of the sites they have identities on. It also allows them to claim those pages as their own.
iNames are similar to OpenID’s URI. iNames may be a better choice for regular, less technical people according to Hamlin. To date, more than 10,000 people use iNames. The system works by providing users with a number that is unique and persistent to that user. iNames and OpenIDs work together so you can type tour iName into an OpenID log-in.
Windows CardSpace allows users to securely provide a digital identity to a site via a piece of client software that uses a set of “cards,” with identity data for the user to choose from.
Amazon’s Real Name Attribution allows users to claim their real name using a credit card in the spirit of credibility and reputation building.