Federated identity provisioning panel: Archie Reed, Howard Ting, Chris Ceppi, Ranjeet Vidwans, and Justin Taylor (l to r)
In this morning's panel on federated identity provisioning, the subject of privacy and federation came up. Archie Reed, of HP, talked about the current state of affairs wherein the attributes that make up your digital identity are stored in thousands of databases all over the net. Think about how many places your birthday, address, and even credit card number are stored. These databases are maintained by people who are competent, incompetent, or even malicious. Chris Ceppi of Ping ID
made a good point: federation doesn't necessarily keep applications from storing your attributes in a local database, but it does
open up the possibility that those attributes can be queried, using SAML, for example, and then thrown away after use. This scenario not only eliminates duplication, but increases accuracy and privacy. We've all come to see the benefits of linking to things and application on the net and calling them when we need them rather than storing everything locally. Federated identity opens this same possibility for your identity attributes and that's definitely a step in the right direction.