When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

12 September 2007

OpenID: The solution to online identity theft?

In March, Dubner and Levitt tackled the realities of identity theft. Now, with phishing scams getting ever cleverer, state government databases leaving sensitive private information accessible to the world, and identity thieves expanding their schemes into Web giants like Facebook, it’s worth asking: how will the problem of identity theft be solved?

Technology innovators have been plugging away, of course, to develop programs that safeguard sensitive information from prowling hackers. One product touted as a possible solution is OpenID, an online protocol that manages a user’s web identity by offering single sign-on for any participating Web site. Surfers never have to enter a username or password to access sites that demand registration, and can navigate between different sites without logging in or out — the equivalent of an online driver’s license. While the program has yet to hit the mainstream, reports estimate that it and similar products are “two to five years away from mainstream adoption.”

Freakonomics blog: Is OpenID the Solution to Online Identity Theft?

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