Identity Federation and User-Centric Identity ? How will it affect Business and IT Infrastructures?
At first glance, it seems that both identity federation and the hot new buzzword topic “user-centric identity” both share the same primary goal of both federation and user-centric identity is to separate and free identity from any one domain to roam as necessary with convenience, privacy and security. But do they really?
“User-centric” carries a fine libertinarian ring and in fact is often used as a political slogan (like the old “information wants to be free”. But can users in corporate networks every really “own” their digital identities? HR professionals shudder at the thought, maintaining that various important business and organizational processes would automatically crash if employees were free to withhold personal information whenever they want.
For some, “user-centric” is seen as simply the customer-facing B2C version of identity federation, while “old-fashioned” federation remains strictly B2B.
As governments around the world tighten their reign on digital identity data as a reaction to international terrorism, federation is being offered as a solution to privacy concerns. Here, “user-centric” actually does have a political context, for instance in Germany, where a debate is raging about whether and how law enforcement agencies should be allowed to download pictures and biometric data used to create electronic passports, identity cards and drivers licenses.
The panel will explore the technical and practical issues facing identity federation and user-centricity. We will discuss the impact of open identity and federation models on business and egovernment as well as strategies for generating acceptance and enthusiasm for the federation concept among business, government organizations and the general public.