WhatfettleAnother Tuesday, Another OpenID Provider

I like OpenID and use it wherever I can in preference to having to remember yet another stupid password. I was just prompted to move from del.icio.us to Ma.gnolia precisely because the redesigned delicious refused to stick my login into my keychain. Ma.gnolia supports OpenID as well as other goodies such as Microformats. Shame about delicious, I joined them June 2004 but kudos for providing such an easy migration path. Update: shame about Magnolia. Oh well!

Where I currently wouldn't use OpenID is to login to my bank account. That's not so much due to the protocol being less secure than the mind boggling complex alternatives but because even if my bank accepted OpenID I'd have real trouble choosing a third party provider trustworthy enough to hold my banking details. I can imagine a bank or some other regulated body, cough, is best placed to provide such a service, because it ain't Livejournal, Flickr or Google and sure as heck isn't Microsoft.

That's not to say I want a party to vouch that I am really me to the bank, just somebody I can trust with my password, cert, PIN, eyeball hash or whatever it is I choose to vouch that me meatspace is that thing, cyberspace.

As for Microsoft soon becoming an OpenID provider, it is great news, but surely no surprise given they already announced it. It's also worth a small reality check. There are already lots of OpenID providers to chose from, probably because it's a seen as low risk "quick win" to become one, and because being a provider is a great way to centrally track your users logging into other sites. What we actually need now are more OpenID relying parties

Or to put it another way: consumers, consumers, consumers