|Thirty-three major companies have announced the formation of the code-named
Liberty Alliance Project, a collaboration between some of the world's largest
businesses and industries. The alliance will develop and deploy an open
solution for network identity.
The charter members of the Liberty Alliance Project, which represent
a broad, global spectrum of industries, intend to create an open, federated
solution for network identity, enabling ubiquitous single sign-on across
multiple Web sites and eventually across multiple devices connected to
the Internet. The service will provide distributed authentication and open,
platform-neutral network authorization from any device connected to the
Internet and from traditional desktop computers and cellphones to credit
cards, automobiles, and point-of-sale terminals.
The Liberty Alliance Project has the following main objectives:
The alliance consists of companies that provide a broad range of consumer
and industrial products, financial services, travel services, digital media,
retailing, telecommunications, and technology. Charter members include
ActivCard, American Airlines, the Apache Software Foundation, Bank of America,
Bell Canada Enterprises, Cingular Wireless, Cisco Systems, CollabNet, Dun
and Bradstreet (D&B), eBay, Entrust, Fidelity Investments, Gemplus,
GM, Global Crossing, i2, Intuit, Liberate Technologies, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo,
Openwave, O'Reilly & Associates, RealNetworks, RSA Security, Sabre,
Schlumberger, Sony Corp., Sprint, Sun Microsystems, Travelocity, United
Airlines, VeriSign, Vodafone, and more.
To allow individual consumers and businesses to securely maintain personal
information. This enables a decentralized approach to garnering personal
or proprietary information, and promotes interoperability or service delivery
To provide a universal open standard for single sign-on, which users and
service providers can rely on and leverage to interoperate. Internet single
sign-on will allow users to log in once and be authenticated for a range
of network services supporting the Liberty standard between and among Web
sites and network services—even if those services are provided by different
To supply an open standard for network identity that spans all Internet-connected
devices. This lets providers of network services—and the infrastructure
that enables them—to adopt a neutral, open standard that's available wherever
the Internet is available. This allows secure and reliable identity authentication
across handsets, automobiles, and credit cards—literally any device attached
to the Internet.
"The Liberty Alliance Project is committed to protecting consumer privacy
and security while providing personalized services and products," said
Piper Cole, vice president of public policy at Sun Microsystems. "The alliance
recognizes that legitimate consumer concerns must be addressed from both
a policy and technology perspective, and it is the intent of the alliance
to build a framework that addresses both. The alliance will form a Privacy
and Security Working Group to develop a privacy framework that will enable
members to build strong customer relationships based on trust. As a part
of this effort, the working group will consult with and seek input from
privacy groups and government agencies."
"Dun & Bradstreet is participating in the Liberty Alliance Project
because we believe information standards such as the D&B D-U-N-S Number
will enable the growth of e-commerce and feed the adoption of Web services.
In order to make e-commerce work, there is a need to adopt common practices
and open standards for network identity. D&B is a key enabler of e-commerce,
and we look forward to contributing and helping to build the universal
information standards and protocols which will facilitate safe and trusted
e-commerce," said Larry Kutscher, D&B's president of B2B e-commerce.
Any organization interested in joining the Liberty Alliance Project
can visit http://www.projectliberty.org
for additional information. Membership is open to all commercial and noncommercial
organizations. Liberty is still a code name for this initiative. The charter
members expect to soon finalize an alliance agreement regarding organization
and joint development of intellectual property.
[Editor's Note: The Liberty Alliance Project, led by Sun Microsystems,
challenges a competing system from its archrival, Microsoft. For information
about Microsoft's network identification system, Passport, and its recently
announced "federation of trust," see the Focus on Publishing column on
page 40. Some media reports said that Microsoft was invited to link Passport
to the planned project, but Microsoft reportedly denied this.]
Source: Sun Microsystems, Inc., Palo Alto, CA, 408/517-5520; http://www.projectliberty.org.