Internet Scale Identity Systems: An Overview and Comparison

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Executive Summary

An Internet-scale identity system is an architecture that defines standardized mechanisms enabling the identity attributes of its users to be shared between applications and Web sites. This enables a streamlined and optimized online experience for users, greater protection from identity theft and opportunities for customization and personalization that do not require the user to manually configure account information. There are a number of different technologies and standards initiatives designed to deliver an Internet-scale identity system including SAMI, Windows CardSpace, OpenID and ID-WSF. This paper provides an overview of the key initiatives and explores the similarities, differences, and synergies between them.

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