December 08, 2002
Digital Identity Ownership = Marketing Value
Microsoft has know this for years, but others are starting to a clue into the value of digital identity. Carol Cove Benson has recently done a good job of describing this dynamic in this article on the marketing value of digital identity.
To be fair, this is where the PKI craze of the late '90s was attempting to demonstrate value. Web services, PKI, and the ability to derive business value from digital identity (apart from reducing fraud) may finally result in good solid authentication on the Internet. Too bad the Liberty Alliance may not pull it off.
As a side note, I predicted in 199 that PKI technology would find it's first large deployments embedded deep inside other applications. The suits simply could not figure out a way to make PKI deliver the business value that Carol describes. Web services apps, SAML, the Liberty Alliance, and a few marketing types that actually have a budget, might be able to get somewhere.
Also: You have to love Carol's rant against the word federate (and its derivatives)
Here is Webster's definition of federate (Normal people are supposed to know what this means? Webster's can barely figure it out.)
Main Entry: 1fed·er·ate
Etymology: Latin foederatus, from foeder-, foedus
: united in an alliance or federation : FEDERATED
Main Entry: 2 fed·er·ate
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -at·ed; -at·ing
: to join in a federation
1 : something formed by federation: as a : a federal government b : a union of organizations
2 : the act of federating; especially : the forming of a federal union