A new initiative has been launched by a group of tech firms, including Oracle and PayPal, to promote interoperability among identity verification applications and services for Internet users.
The Kantara Initiative aims to foster broad adoption of interoperable identity management technology and practices across industries, regions and fixed and mobile networks.
The organisation's launch comes after a year of planning focused on identifying the best way for the industry to tackle the evolving enterprise identity landscape and proliferation of social networking and Web 2.0 applications.
Bob Blakley, principal analyst, The Burton Group, says: "The identity product and service market grows more complex every month, and as the market gets more moving parts, there are more and more requirements for all those parts to work together. The parts aren't going to work together unless the part makers work together - and that's why today's announcement is important."
The initiative has already set up nearly 20 work and discussion groups, with all output based on open standards, frameworks, protocols and specifications, covering IAF, ID-WSF, IGF, Information Card, OAuth, OpenID SAML 2.0, WS-*, XACML and XDI.
Roger Sullivan, VP, identity management, Oracle, has been elected president of the 2009 board of trustees. Initial board members include AOL, BT, CA, Intel, Internet Society, Fidelity Investments, Novell, NRI, NTT, Oracle, PayPal and Sun Microsystems.
"The problems the global identity industry faces today are not just about technology, but rather a combination of business policy and privacy requirements, balanced against interoperability, usability, as well as technology harmonization. All of these issues need to be addressed for identity-enabled solutions to succeed and for deployers to leverage their benefits," says Sullivan.
Last year PayPal teamed with Google, Microsoft and others to promote the use of virtual online identity cards - rather than user names and passwords - for conducting transactions via the Web.