What is the Information Card Foundation (ICF)? - Will it Spread?
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The ICF says anyone can use an I-card, and any website can be quickly made I-card ready, allowing surfers to "click in" without needing to enter a user name and password. The card would also contain various sets of other information, like shipping addresses or banking information that would not need to be entered again unless it changed.
Pointing to existing "digital wallets" or "identity selectors" on your operating system, the ICF says any number of identity selectors can be chosen, downloaded or even created, as several compatible identity selectors are already available for multiple platforms. I-cards are only usable on sites offering to take these self-issued cards, which are loaded with whatever information you feel you would like to share with the requesting site.
In summary, the thoughts behind using ID cards online are not new. What is new, however, is Microsoft's realization that perhaps this issue is larger than it can handle by itself -- and might just require additional industry support to wade through longstanding obstacles, and preconceived notions. There is no doubt Microsoft has tried to enter this arena many times before, with decent market penetration, but not overall Internet acceptance.
It seems like they are well on their way now however, harnessing large and powerful companies not only for their resources, but for their ideas and strategy as well. It seems odd to me that neither Adobe or someone like Symantec are in this mix of powerhouses, carrying a lot more control than some of the other, smaller groups.
Had they invited Adobe, then perhaps the ICF website would look and work a heck of a lot better than it does, because frankly, it's just awful. Here's a thought, before you propose to launch a huge global effort, make sure your website looks okay, and that the menus are not all jacked up. But hey, that's just me ;)
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