Portable Identity and the BBC

We’ve spoken about OpenID before on this blog (see entries from 9 Feb 2008 and 7 Feb 2007) and I’ve been quite enthusiastic about the prospects for this “open, decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity.”

It seems that the BBC have seen the potential and joined the OpenID foundation. Jem Stone, on his blog, makes the bold statement that “getting identity right is key to our future plans.” I couldn’t agree more. Managing identity is central to the future and long term success of everything from social networking to eCommerce. For their part, the BBC are currently looking at the concept of “portable identity.” Good job if they can make it happen – the trick will be in ensuring that the solution is safe to use on a home PC, public terminal, mobile phone and the myraid of other Internet enabled devices we’re now being sold. Two factor authentication is a must but it needn’t be based on clunky tokens. Any other out-of-band method will suffice, for example an SMS message with a one-time password on a mobile phone.

Whatever the outcome, it’s good to see my licence fee going on something that’s innovative and, if successful, having wider benefits.