What is OpenID?
OpenID eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites, simplifying your online experience.
You get to choose the OpenID Provider that best meets your needs and most importantly that you trust. At the same time, your OpenID can stay with you, no matter which Provider you move to. And best of all, the OpenID technology is not proprietary and is completely free.
For businesses, this means a lower cost of password and account management, while increasing site visitor registration conversion rates. OpenID lowers user frustration by letting users have control of their login.
For geeks, OpenID is an open, decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity. OpenID takes advantage of already existing internet technology (URI, HTTP, SSL, Diffie-Hellman) and realizes that people are already creating identities for themselves whether it be at their blog, photostream, profile page, etc. With OpenID you can easily transform one of these existing URIs into an account which can be used at sites which support OpenID logins.
OpenID is growing quickly and becoming more popular as large organizations like AOL, Facebook, France Telecom, Google, LiveDoor, Microsoft, Mixi, MySpace, Novell, Sun, Telecom Italia, Yahoo!, etc. begin to accept and/or provide OpenIDs. Today, it is estimated that there are over one billion OpenID enabled user accounts with over 40,000 websites supporting OpenID for sign in.
Who Owns or Controls OpenID?
OpenID was created in the summer of 2005 by an open source community trying to solve a problem that was not easily solved by other existing identity technologies. As such, OpenID is not owned by anyone, nor should it be. Today, anyone can choose to be an OpenID user or an OpenID Provider for free without having to register or be approved by any organization.
The OpenID Foundation was formed to assist the open source model by providing a legal entity to be the steward for the community by providing needed infrastructure and generally helping to promote and support expanded adoption of OpenID.
As Brad Fitzpatrick (the father of OpenID) said, “Nobody should own this. Nobody’s planning on making any money from this. The goal is to release every part of this under the most liberal licenses possible, so there’s no money or licensing or registering required to play. It benefits the community as a whole if something like this exists, and we’re all a part of the community.”
This statement continues to resonate today within the OpenID community.
How do I get an OpenID?
Surprise! You may already have one. If you use any of the following services, you already have your own OpenID. (When you see bold text, you should replace it with your own username, screenname or membername on the service.)
- Look for the “Sign in with a Google Account” button
- Look for the “Login with MySpaceID” button or enter myspace.com/username
- Look for the “Sign in with Yahoo! ID” button
- Look for the “Sign in with Yahoo! ID” button or enter www.flickr.com/photos/username
- Orange (France Telecom)