Members of the Liberty Alliance, including Sun Microsystems, are developing a technology to link various single sign-on authentication systems using a standard specification. The technology will provide an alternative to the Passport system developed by Microsoft.
When users log onto a Web site supporting the Liberty Alliance specification, they can visit other password-protected Web sites supported by the technology without having to sign in again.
Several companies, including AOL Time Warner, American Express, Cisco Systems, eBay, General Motors and Nokia, have pledged to support the Liberty Alliance specification when it becomes available.
Updates in the version 1.1 specifications include a fix for a vulnerability in a Liberty Alliance-enabled client/proxy, and enhancements to provide additional flexibility to service providers.
The Liberty Alliance is taking a phased approach to the release of its specifications and anticipates a 2003 release for version 2.0.
This version will provide an infrastructure for developing and supporting identity-enabled Web services from companies, organisations or government entities. The infrastructure will include a framework for permissions-based attribute sharing and will allow groups of organisations, often referred to as "circles of trust"or authentication domains, to be linked together, as opposed to operating as separate islands.
Parties interested in reviewing version 1.1 draft specifications should contact the Liberty Alliance Web site at: www.projectliberty.org/specs/v1_1draft/.