BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Science/Nature  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 17 July, 2002, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Signs point to smarter websites
Frustrated man biting pen, BBC
Soon you could have far fewer passwords to remember.

An industry group called the Liberty Alliance has released specifications that let websites securely share the login data of customers.

The specifications will allow web users to sign in at one website and then use other affiliated sites without having to type in user names and passwords all over again.

The Liberty Alliance is pitting itself against Microsoft and its Passport system that performs a similar role.

Although the two sign-on systems do the same job they differ in their basic approach.

Sign here

Microsoft's Passport is a centralised database of user details that people can use to sign on to a wide variety of websites.

Newer versions of Microsoft's operating system nag people to set up a Passport account to get more out of the software.

Bill Gates, AP
Bill Gates has been talking up ".Net"
But many people are concerned about the security of Passport and the danger of having personal information in one place and under the control of one company.

Passport is part of Microsoft's ".Net" initiative, which aims to help companies use the web to streamline their organisation and to make it easier to set up web-based trading systems.

By contrast, the Liberty Alliance uses groups of federated websites that keep their own databases of customer details.

First products

A group of federated websites could include an airline, a car rental company, a travel agent and a hotel reservation firm.

If all the companies in this group are using the Liberty Alliance specifications, then someone signing in or logging on to their account at one of the group's websites will get access to their personal accounts at the other sites.

The Liberty Alliance specifications lay down how information should be passed among members.

Currently, 65 companies, including American Express, General Motors and Nokia, have signed up to the Liberty Alliance scheme.

The first products and websites that use the Liberty Alliance specifications are due to be released by the end of the year.

See also:

19 Nov 01 | Science/Nature
09 Nov 01 | Science/Nature
18 Apr 01 | Science/Nature
13 Feb 02 | Science/Nature
17 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
05 Nov 01 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Science/Nature stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Science/Nature stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes