OpenID Distributed Authentication

Many companies have tried to make a universally-acceptable login system. Microsoft tried to promote their .Net Passport for years. Google owns so much it feels like a universal login for almost everything. It's the same with Yahoo! But, in each case, they were doomed because everyone was afraid for security reasons. If I give Microsoft my payment information so that I don't have to put it in on sites again, just how much does Microsoft know about me? How much information are they collecting and sharing about me? No one really knows.

Open-source advocates always say that the solution is an open-source thing that is tested by the community for security reasons. But creating a decentralized system is really hard. Thankfully, some people have started such a decentralized and secure system.

OpenID is a specification for a decentralized login system.� You can register for an account at any number of places such as LiveJournal and MyOpenID.� Also, if you're a bit tech savvy, you can create your own OpenID server to authenticate yourself.� (I just installed it in 20 minutes through phpMyID and it works great.)� An encrypted version of my password is stored on my server and therefore no OpenID-enabled site even gets a password from me.� The OpenID site redirects to my site to be authenticated.� I can also give the OpenID sites information such as my language, time zone, etc.

Who knows if it will catch on, but it seems to be a good idea.� Just to help it catch on, you can now post comments on my blog with your OpenID (thanks to the WPOpenID Plugin).


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