Liberty Alliance ID standards group looks to boost adoption rates

Source: Liberty Alliance

The Liberty Alliance Project, the global consortium developing open standards for federated identity, interoperable strong authentication and identity-enabled Web services, today announced new identity management deployments worldwide and the expansion of its global deployment workshop programs designed to help organizations around the world deploy successful open identity solutions faster and on the widest possible scale.

With the adoption of Liberty identity standards steadily increasing, Liberty Alliance expects that there will be well over one billion Liberty- enabled identities and devices by the end of 2006. This number includes the identities of individuals around the world logging into Liberty-enabled Web sites as well as the many enterprise and consumer devices, such as smart cards, cameras, computers and mobile phones, that currently support Liberty's user-centric identity management capabilities in open federation and identity- enabled Web services deployments.

Based on ongoing global research conducted by Liberty Alliance, Liberty Federation, which consists of ID-FF 1.1, 1.2 and SAML 2.0 specifications, and Liberty Web Services, which consists of ID-WSF 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0, are deployed extensively around the world in a variety of vertical market segments. Sectors where exceptional deployment of Liberty identity specifications are occurring include e-government, financial services, online service providers, technology, telecommunications and the travel & transportation industries. An overview of the deployments featured in today's news is posted on Liberty's Web site at with highlights including:

* 120 million citizen identities in the global e-government sector including deployments in Austria, France, Finland, Norway, the Middle East, Spain and the United States;
* 585 million identities and devices in the mobile and telecommunications sector with vendors and carriers around the world implementing Liberty Federation and Liberty Web Services for identity-based consumer and enterprise applications;
* 72 million online service provider users able to leverage Liberty identity specifications for conducting e-commerce and accessing and managing a variety of entertainment and social applications; and
* 20 million Liberty enabled identities in the technology and enterprise sectors with organizations managing B2B, B2E and B2C services based on Liberty Federation and Liberty Web Services.

"With over one billion Liberty-enabled identities and devices expected this year, Liberty Alliance specifications are the world's most widely deployed standards for managing successful identity solutions," said George Goodman, president of the Liberty Alliance management board and director, Platform Capabilities Lab at Intel. "Today's news demonstrates the wide scale acceptance of Liberty's identity specifications as the 'standard-of-choice' for organizations deploying open federation, identity-enabled Web services and user-centric identity solutions."

Liberty Federation provides deployers with the industry standard for solving the many authentication, privacy and security challenges surrounding online identity management. Liberty Federation allows consumers and users of Internet-based services and e-commerce applications to authenticate and sign- on once, and then visit multiple Web sites in a federated network without having to repeat the authorization process again. The federated identity model provides consumers with a more convenient online experience, increased privacy and better protection against fraud and identity theft. Enterprises deploying open federation are able to manage identity information across organizational boundaries and networks easier and more cost effectively.

Interoperability of identity products and solutions from multiple vendors is playing an important role in advancing the adoption of Liberty Federation and Liberty Web Services. Liberty is the only global identity organization with a history of testing products and solutions from multiple vendors for true interoperability of identity specifications. Over seventy products from vendors around the world have passed interoperability testing since Liberty launched its conformance program in 2003, including products from twelve companies passing Liberty's SAML 2.0 interoperability testing.

Expansion of Deployment Workshops

Liberty Alliance is also announcing the expansion of its global deployment and identity workshop programs. Deployment workshops are held around the world and are designed to educate participants about the many business benefits of open federation and to help organizations facilitate the development of Circles of Trust, the business, legal and privacy issues governing federation.

Liberty began holding deployment workshops last year, sponsoring events in the US and Europe and has since held additional workshops in Barcelona, Berlin and Paris. Over two hundred representatives from organizations around the world have participated in these free educational sessions. Presenters are Liberty members who have deployed Liberty identity standards and successfully addressed the business, legal and privacy issues involved in developing Circles of Trust.

Identity Workshops

Identity workshops are designed to help organizations better manage many of today's most pressing identity issues. These workshops address industry- wide and vertical-specific identity challenges in a collaborative environment where dialogue and ideas for solving identity challenges are freely shared among participants. Liberty held its first identity workshop in Chicago last year in conjunction with the launch of the Identity Theft Protection Group. Over sixty representatives from the consumer, government, law enforcement and corporate sectors gathered to fully explore issues and potential solutions to the growing problem of online fraud and identity theft.

Liberty's next two identity workshops will be held in Washington DC on April 26 when Liberty's E-health Group will present programs on advancing open federation in the healthcare sector and Liberty's Identity Theft Protection Group will hold a workshop focusing on potential solutions for solving online fraud and identity theft.

"As momentum for Liberty's open identity specifications continues to build, there can be no doubt that Liberty Federation and Liberty Web Services are allowing organizations to deploy more secure and privacy-respecting identity solutions," said Roger Sullivan, vice president of the Liberty Alliance Management Board and vice president of business development for Oracle's Identity Management solutions. "Liberty is demonstrating its strong momentum in the worldwide identity sector and reinforcing its long-standing commitment to providing organizations with the open technologies, educational support and business and privacy guidelines for managing successful federation and identity-enabled Web services."

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