OpenID: How government CAN play a positive role

This makes a change from the UK government’s approach of focussing on the use of ID cards as a means of control. In Estonia, every eID holder (around 80% of the Estonian population) has been given an unique OpenID . Their online identity can never be stolen because the OpenID is attached to their real identity: it is always possible to replace your stolen eID card and reclaim control of your identity.

More here: Web Security for Estonia. I am not sure of the status of this project (which is still in beta), but it looks pretty official to me.

( tags: identity internet opensource security europe)


About Peter Cruickshank

Lecturer in the School of Computing and a member of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Interested in information systems, learning, politics, society, security and where they intersect. My attempts at rounding out my character include food, cinema, running, history and, together with my lovely wife, bringing up a cat and a couple of kids.
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4 Responses to OpenID: How government CAN play a positive role

  1. AP says:

    How is the government supposed to go about it; with over 300 million Netizens?

  2. Good comment – I don’t know the answer: it’s probably a good idea to see if the concept works for a country the size of Estonia first anyway!
    More broadly, I think the political context in the USA is different from Europe – many countries here have ID card schemes already (or want one, in the case of the UK), so it could be seen as adding value to an existing resource.

  3. What concept ? It is important to understand that OpenID is just addressing – you don’t give or issue them.

    If there is infrastructure in place for electronic identity (like in Estonia or Belgium for example). So this is all just adding a buzzword feature to existing technology with some added features (privacy and anonymous accounts).

    If the eID infrastructure scales up to 300M users so does OpenID.

  4. Your link gives a good overview of the the issues – thanks!

    Maybe ‘concept’ was the wrong word to use – I meant to refer to the concept of using openID as part of a government supported infrastructure. I suppose what I was trying to say is that there might be some unexpected wrinkles found when openID is used for ‘real’.

    Finally, you can find more of my random thoughts around openID by searching this blog.

    – Peter

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