A week ago Johannes wrote a post about how User-Centric Identity was dead. I totally disagree. All of the technologies that were in the mix at the beginning of the community in 2005-6 that he lists are “dead” but many innovations that have come out of the community are very much alive and new efforts that go “beyond identity” and include personal data.
I knew that the founding technologies described as fulfilling the vision of user-centric ID were dead – this was the case when the word on the street after the MIT-ISOC-W3C workshop in early December was “OpenID and Information Cards as we know them are dead” because focus and attention moving towards Webfinger and Identity in the Browser (or other agents).
I have presented about user-centric ID to executives several times this year; when I do mention OpenID and Information Cards as a starting point for potential technologies that realize some aspects of the goal of user-centric identity and how they represent two different kinds of doing identity IDENTIFIER & CLAIMS based. However, I quickly shift to talking about the issues surrounding their adoption failures and move on to discuss successful technologies OAuth and XRD.
I often call XRD the most successful technology coming out of the community. It evolved with the hard work of Eran Hammer-Lahav within the XRI technical committee at OASIS. Yadis (yet another distributed identity system – the interim name that soon became OpenIDv2) found that XRI had a discovery format called XRDS and chose to use it – then it was found to be to complicated so Eran proposed XRD-Simple, this then became XRD and was standardized as its own specification.