2009 OpenID Year in Review

This has been a great year for OpenID, and 2010 looks to be even more promising. I recently posed a summary of the accomplishments at the OpenID Foundation website here. A few key excerpts from that posting:

There are over 1 billion OpenID enabled accounts from the following identity providers worldwide:

  • US: AOL, Blogger, Flickr, Google, LiveJournal, MySpace, Verisign, WordPress, and Yahoo!.
  • Europe: France Telecom, GMX/Web.de, Hyves, Netlog, and Telecom Italia.
  • Japan: Livedoor, Mixi, NEC Biglobe, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Japan.

There are over 9 million websites utilizing OpenID for registration and login on some portion of their websites across a wide range of organizations including Sears, Kmart, Universal Music Group (200+ Interscope, Geffen, A&M; labels and artists), FoxNews, EMI Music, TwitterFeed, RedPlum, Savings.com, DC Shoes, CitySearch, Zappos, Nike, Microsoft, Mint, Nokia, Random House, Sony BMG, Café Press, TweetDeck, ViewPoints, Qype, Scout24 (Deutsche Telecom), Avro, Associated Northcliffe Digital, Smart.fm, Hokkaido Television Broadcasting, OnGen, 2-han.net, Nikko Hotels, ClipCast, Facebook etc.

Microsoft, NTT Docomo, PBS, and PayPal have also announced plans to OpenID-enable their users adding hundreds of millions of additional OpenID enabled accounts.

Several organizations are using OpenID internally for federated ID management: Amazon, Japan Airlines International, National 4-H, SAP, Sun Microsystems, and PBS.

The US federal government has announced its intention to deploy OpenID on federal websites. During two separate meetings with Vivek Kundra, the Federal CIO, he explained that a major priority for the federal government is transparency and “citizen engagement.” Accordingly, the government is aggressively pursuing open standard technologies that enable and support these objectives. At the Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington DC, the General Services Administration and several government agencies announced their plans to adopt OpenID as part of the White House’s Open Government Initiative. This announcement followed several months of research and discussion between the OpenID Foundation, OIDF member companies, the GSA, NIST, OMB, the InfoCard Foundation, and various government agencies.

The Identity, Credential, and Access Management (ICAM) committee of the GSA published its Identity Scheme Adoption Process, Trust Framework Provider Adoption Process, and OpenID 2.0 Government Profile documents over the last several months. Initial identity providers include Yahoo, Google, AOL, Verisign, and PayPal who are undergoing certification processes defined in the TFPAP. The first wave of federal websites to accept these identity providers will include the Center for Information Technology (CIT), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and related agencies.

Shibboleth, an identity management system used by thousands of research institutions has announced that Shibboleth V2.X will integrate OpenID support. The U.S. deployment of Shibboleth, InCommon, is a community of more than 4 million researchers, students, staff, and faculty across more than 180 institutions. The OpenID Foundation worked closely with InCommon/ Shibboleth in developing trust frameworks for the US Government OpenID deployment. Another example of how the OpenID Foundation and members are collaborating with a number of identity initiatives.

Even the FCC has gotten into the act and is asking for input on how OpenID can accelerate the use and benefits of more broadly available high speed bandwidth access. You can see our response to the FCC request for comment here. The FCC specifically asked:

“What impact do developments in identity management, such as OpenID, have with respect to broadband deployment, adoption, and use?”

“OpenID is potentially well suited to facilitate and accelerate the utilization and citizen benefits of broadband deployment. As lower cost broadband services reach a higher percentage of our population, government and private sector service providers will increasingly leverage this channel to offer richer, more personalized, and more cost effective offerings to their citizens and customers, respectively.

However, in order to provide the best services, citizens and customers will need to authenticate themselves for many applications to set preferences, to customize their experiences, and for more interactive transactions. As more organizations drive to engage their stakeholders through the internet, and as consumers respond by utilizing faster, better, and cheaper services over the internet, the scalability of username/password authentication will become a constraint. This is exactly the use case that OpenID was designed to address – more scalable, convenient, and secure authentication across the open internet.”

In addition to the progress that has been made in OpenID, user managed identity and social publishing in a broader context has also made significant progress.

  • Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter are also providing identity services for over 700 million users. While they are not currently OpenID-enabled services, they are publicly documented services that we’ve integrated into RPX, bringing over 1.7 billion identity accounts ot the registration and login processes for our clients. LinkedIn has announced that they will also be providing identity services that we also plan to integrate into RPX.
  • Additionally, we’ve seen tremendous interest in our Social Publishing functionality that allows users to share their activities (blogs, surveys, reviews, purchases, downloads, views/listens, etc.) with their friends on the social networks including Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, and MySpace. You can see a demo of how this works here.

And based on input and feedback from our customers, we’ve got an exciting pipeline of new capabilities coming in 2010. So thanks to everyone who has been following us, providing input, and using our services. We’re excited about the tremendous market momentum around user managed identity and social publishing, and look forward to providing even greater solutions for our customers in the coming months.

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Brian Kissel
CEO, JanRain