I welcome the change of heart.
However, if HMG is indeed planning to respond to market forces I do remind them that there is, as yet, little overlap between the openID operations and those used by the banks and transaction and payment clearing services, or by fixed and mobile telcos, ISPs and pay TV operators. The main reason is that they are technology solutions to what is a problem of trust in people processes.
Will DWP really use Open ID solutions?
Would anyone in financial services trust an ID issued by Government any more that they trust the passport and utility bill they are required by law to use for the worthless "know your customer" rituals that get in the way of customer service.
It is interesting to note that most of the headline industry names in the Open ID consortia commonly check the context against the footprint for that ID before authorising any transaction that puts them at significant risk of fraud.
Where does that put them under the planned European Data Protection Regulation, if they base operations inside the EU?
The issues of inter-operability across the different families of ID systems, both within and across national boundaries, are among the reasons why so much on-line trade within the EU is routed via the United States.
But is HMG context to rely on ID operations based outside the EU, let alone the UK?
Meanwhile at least 20% of the population, including most of us for our last decade on this planet, are incapable of reliably using anything that requires us to remember a password or use a keypad. Given that elderly voters may actually outnumber those of the facebook generation who have bothered to register that presents a political problem.
Sooner or later we will need an exercise to reconnect debate over ID policy with human
as well as electronic reality.