OpenID: Decentralised Single Sign-On for the Web
OpenID is of use to educational applications because it allows for them to interact with the many Web 2.0 applications in wide use today. Many educational institutions adopted a federated approach - such as Shibboleth - which leaves identity management in the hands of the institutions (and which, pointedly, does not operate outside the federation, that is, not outside the institutions in question). I argued at the time that the federated approach was the wrong one, and the reason was that a distributed system such as OpenID would enable much greater interoperability. We are seeing the proof of that argument today. See also Simon Willison on the impact of OpenID.
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