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American Express and MasterCard join Liberty Alliance

20 December 2001  |  3372 views  |  0 American Express and MasterCard join Liberty Alliance

The Liberty Alliance project, a cross-industry consortium committed to developing an Internet identity programme to challenge Microsoft's rival Passport initiative, is reporting the addition of seven new founding members, each taking a seat on the management board.

The new members are American Express, AOL Time Warner, France Telecom, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard Company, MasterCard International and an unidentified "major commercial bank".

The Liberty coalition was formed by Sun in a bid to develop standards governing the control and maintenance of personal information on the Internet. The Alliance aims to develop an interoperable system for people to conduct e-commerce transactions over a range of Web connected devices using a single sign-on identity. Founding members include Bell Canada, Global Crossing, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Openwave Systems, RealNetworks, RSA Security, Sony Corporation, Sun Microsystems, United Airlines and Vodafone.

The Alliance is now opening the coalition to sponsor-level membership, which provides full participation in Alliance activities for those companies interested in playing an active role.

Eric Dean, president of the Liberty Alliance management board and chief information officer of United Airlines, comments: "The Alliance is rapidly moving forward to develop a commercially-viable, open, ubiquitous standard for network identity, authentication and authorisation across a multitude of business systems and consumer products touched by the Internet - from cellular phones to Web browsers and automobiles."

Alliance participants include ActivCard, American Airlines, the Apache Software Foundation, Bank of America, Cingular Wireless, Cisco Systems, CollabNet, Dun and Bradstreet, eBay, Entrust, Fidelity Investments, Gemplus, i2, Intuit, Liberate Technologies, O'Reilly and Associates, Sabre, Schlumberger, Sprint, Travelocity and Verisign.

Rich DeMillo, vice president and chief technology officer, Hewlett-Packard, says: "Participating in this alliance levels the playing field for IT developers and opens the door for industry-wide collaboration on important matters such as building secure and trusted architectures."

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