As the article states, most – if not all – corporate websites would prefer not to provide an easy mechanism for users to transfer their digital footprint (which includes the user’s profile, his/her activities on the site, purchase history etc.) outside of their “walled garden”. To expose this might be tantamount to giving away the crown jewels. Another problem that corporations face, is to be able to trust another entity or organization to authenticate – and possibly manage – the user’s access to their site.
It is interesting to note the recent activities being undertaken by the industry to solve these issues.
The OpenID foundation has made marvelous progress by attracting industry leaders such as Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, Verisign to support and construct a standardized mechanism to solve this issue. To know more about how ID works, check out this youtube video. Given the momentum, I expect that other technology organizations will quickly follow and sign-up as OpenID providers. Similarly with a defacto standards body and framework in place, I expect that corporations will also start to feel more comfortable in incorporating OpenID on their websites and web applications.
Secondly, the OpenID standard provides both users and corporations the ability to control the level of information required to authenticate the user. This allows users to manage their own online profile while also providing corporations to keep their “walled gardens” in place potentially creating a win-win situation for all.