Liberty Unveils ID Management Spec

Several alliance members--including Sun, RSA Security and Novell--announced forthcoming products based on the Liberty specification.

The Liberty Alliance Project on Monday finally announced the launch of its 1.0 specification for identity management, and a slew of the alliances members also announced plans to support the specification in new products or future versions of existing products.

The specification, unveiled at the Burton Groups Catalyst conference in San Francisco, includes functionality that lets users select which Web sites they want to link together, which will then enable single sign-on across those accounts as well as the ability to log out of all of the sites with one command. In the face of increasing consumer and corporate demand for privacy, the alliance was careful to stress that its specification does not contemplate the exchange of personal information among sites. Instead, the sites exchange authentication information about each user. However, the next version of the specification, which is already in development, will include a feature that will let users share selected personal information on a case-by-case basis.

Among the companies announcing products based on the Liberty specification are RSA Security Inc., Novell Inc., Communicator Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc., the alliances founder.

Sun on Tuesday will announce details of how it plans to integrate the Liberty specification into its product line.

Novell, of Provo, Utah, was the only company to actually announce a new product based on Libertys technology. The product, code-named Saturn, will use the Liberty specifications to exchange identity information among companies and to give users single sign-on between Web sites. The application will also let users decide whether their identities will be federated from one Web site to another.

Saturn is scheduled for release at the end of the year, Novell officials said.

Executives at RSA, of Bedford, Mass., said they plan to announce details of the companys support for Liberty in its products later this year, with general availability scheduled for early 2003.

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