Open Government Open Identity to require TPM for maximum security?

Posted by Ken Y-N on September 9th, 2009 at 07:20am

Here’s a very interesting, or very scary, depending on which side of the fence you sit on, new development reported on in a press release on the OpenID Foundation’s web site about a pilot scheme for implementing OpenID for US government web sites.

The companies involved are an interesting mix: Yahoo!, PayPal, Google, Equifax, AOL, VeriSign, Acxiom, Citi, Privo, and Wave Systems are the ten industry leaders who are going to be conducting the trial, as announced at the Gov 2.0 conference today.

OpenID on its own is basically a way of managing a single identity across multiple web sites, something that works very well for blogs, Facebook, and the like. However, this trial will take OpenID to the next stage, enabling members of the American public to participate in a government that is "transparent, participatory, and collaborative", according to the press release.

The government bodies participating in the pilot programs are the Center for Information Technology (CIT), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and other related agencies, using open trust frameworks developed by the OpenID Foundation (OIDF) and the Information Card Foundation (ICF).

Regular readers of the blog will be familiar with Wave System’s name on the list. They are one of the leading companies in the field of managing Trusted Platform Modules on PCs, so their role within this consortium must be to provide a hardware-backed root of trust to increase the citizens’ confidence that their identity, thus privacy, is being properly protected.

I look forward to hearing more about this initiative.

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