OpenID is a decentralized authentication protocol that makes it easy for people to sign up and access web accounts. It allows you to use an existing account to sign in to multiple websites, without needing to create new passwords.
You may choose to associate information with your OpenID that can be shared with the websites you visit, such as a name or email address. With OpenID, you control how much of that information is shared with the websites you visit. Also with OpenID, your password is only given to your identity provider, and that provider then confirms your identity to the websites you visit. Other than your provider, no website ever sees your password, so you don’t need to worry about an unscrupulous or insecure website compromising your identity.
Several large organizations either issue or accept OpenIDs, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Microsoft, AOL, MySpace, Sears, Universal Music Group, France Telecom, Novell, Sun, Telecom Italia, and many more.
Benefits of using OpenID:
- Accelerate Sign Up Process at Your Favorite Websites: Most websites ask for an extended, repetitive amount of information in order to use their application. OpenID accelerates that process by allowing you to sign in to websites with a single click. Basic profile information (such as your name, birth date and location) can be stored through your OpenID and used to pre-populate registration forms, so you spend more time engaging with a website and less time filling out registration pages.
- Reduce Frustration Associated with Maintaining Multiple Usernames and Passwords: Most web users struggle to remember the multiple username and password combinations required to sign in to each of their favorite websites, and the password recovery process can be tedious. But using the same password at each of your favorite websites poses a security risk. With OpenID, you can use a single, existing account (from providers like Google, Yahoo, AOL or your own blog) to sign in to thousands of websites without ever needing to create another username and password. OpenID is the safer and easier method to joining new sites.
- Gain Greater Control Over Your Online Identity: OpenID is a decentralized standard, meaning it is not controlled by any one website or service provider. You control how much personal information you choose to share with websites that accept OpenIDs, and multiple OpenIDs can be used for different websites or purposes. If your email (Google, Yahoo, AOL), photo stream (Flickr) or blog (Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal) serves as your primary online presence, OpenID allows you to use that portable identity across the web.
- Minimize Password Security Risks: Many web users deploy the same password across multiple websites. And since traditional passwords are not centrally administered, if a security compromise occurs at any website you use, a hacker could gain access to your password across multiple sites. With OpenID, passwords are never shared with any websites, and if a compromise does occur, you can simply change the password for your OpenID, thus immediately preventing a hacker from gaining access to your accounts at any websites you visit. Because the focus of most OpenID providers (such as Google, Yahoo and AOL) is in identity management, they can be more thorough about protecting your online identity. Most website operators are less likely to be as dedicated to protecting your identity as the OpenID providers, whose focus is on securely hosting user identities.
The OpenID Foundation is an international non-profit organization of individuals and companies committed to enabling, promoting and protecting OpenID technologies. The foundation serves as a public trust organization representing the open community of developers, vendors, and users. OIDF assists the community by providing needed infrastructure and help in promoting and supporting expanded adoption of OpenID. This entails managing intellectual property and brand marks as well as fostering viral growth and global participation in the proliferation of OpenID.
The OIDF is a membership organization. Though you can participate without membership, joining helps to enable the productive functioning and promotion of OpenID.
Benefits of Individual Membership
- [advt]Vote on OpenID workgroups, specifications, and community board members of the OpenID Foundation
- Use the OpenID Foundation Member logo and signature on your blog, email, website, apps
- Show your support for OpenID as a community-driven, user-centric identity for the Internet
- Way to leverage financial support for an important grassroots community
- Become part of the momentum of OpenID adoption and visibility
Benefits of Company/Organizational Membership
- Use the OpenID Foundation Member logo on your company website, blog, and other marketing materials
- Display your corporate logo/name on the OpenID Foundation website and promotional materials
- Propose, lead, and participate in OpenID technical and marketing work groups
- Vote on ratification of OpenID specifications and recommendations
- Be eligible for inclusion in OpenID Foundation press releases and industry events
- Opportunity to meet, exchange views, collaborate with peer organizations in innovative, open source efforts