16 May 2008

Open Source Identity Management

I don't claim to follow the detailed ins and outs of this story about the release of the Italian electronic identity cards specs, but the conclusions seems clear enough:

So what will the gained freedom bring us and the citizens who have an Italian eID in their pockets? Here is my take on foreseeing the future: In a relatively short time, support for the Italian eID card will be added to OpenSC and thus provide multi-platform middleware for Firefox browers, for Virtual Private Networks and Secure Shell, and for other applications. Also commercial players will be able to support the eID in their operating systems, or on their devices (e.g., set top boxes).

I also hope that this positive development can find value as an experience that demonstrates the benefits of openness: The community can amplify resource and thus achieve what a single player (mostly a government) simply cannot even hope to do. So let us work on making this a reality and from time to time remind that it is openness that made this all happen.

It's also not clear to me whether eIDs are better than bog-standard, worse-than=useless ID cards or not....


Anonymous said...

Glyn, I think you totally got the gist. My friend and free software advocate Bud Bruegger worked hard to get it published, it took years!

Let's see if the Spanish will eventually manage to do the same..

Glyn Moody said...

And kudos to him.