OpenID Credibility: Harry and Bess Truman

In the past few days, I have been exploring the OpenID community a bit. It has become apparent that all OpenID identifiers aren't equal and many don't bring a great deal of credibility to the table.

I visited MyOpenID.com and was issued an identifier for Harry Truman: http://harrytruman.openid.com. No validation, no verification of Harry's real Identity. I just plugged in President Harry Truman's birthday and home town. I did use my own personal email address, but it wasn't even validated at the time.

Armed with my new bogus identifier, I marched over to Jyte.com and made a couple of claims: The Buck Stops Here and I Love Bess.

These claims didn't generate much interest. Both visitors agreed that the buck stopped with Harry, but neither thought Harry loved Bess.

The real point has nothing to how much Harry Truman loved his wife. It just illustrates that with current infrastructure at least, OpenID identifiers lack much market credibility. Neither MyOpenID.com or Sxipper.com knew who I was when they issued me a personal identifier. At least OpenID.Sun.com validated that I held current valid Sun login credentials.

A relying party site would still need to independently validate my email address or my ability to pay for something. Perhaps this makes a good case that identity providers need to be enterprises where users have already established trusting relationships (e.g. banks, credit card companies, telephone service providers). They could actually vouch for commerce worthiness and actual identity.

They would probably even know that Harry Truman has been dead for 34 years

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About

Discovering Identity was founded on blogs.sun.com in May 2005 as a means of documenting my exploration of the field of Identity and Access Management. In February, 2010, I switched to hosting the blog at DiscoveringIdentity.com. In March 2012, I began posting Oracle-related information in both places.

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The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Oracle Corporation, or any other person or organization.

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