Microsoft Opens Passport
In an effort to appease critics and regulators, Microsoft has announced it will open its controversial Passport authentication service to competing companies.
The software company said it would make Passport interoperable to create a true universal sign-in platform.
"The challenge of providing universal single sign-in is larger than any one company," said Bob Muglia, group vice president of .NET Services at Microsoft. "We invite the industry to participate in this federated model that bridges todays islands of authentication into a trusted network for users."
Microsoft said the system will be based on the Kerberos security standard and is an effort to create an easy authentication method similar to those used by bank ATM machines.
"This federated model allows organizations to retain fine-grained and secure control over their user identities, profiles and other business data, while participating in a trusted network that delivers a unified experience to users," said the company in a statement.
To date, Microsoft has gathered 165 million passport accounts. Privacy advocates have criticized the system as an unfair trade practice and have filed complaints to the Federal Trade Commission.