September 25, 2007 |
France Telecom has announced yesterday that it will start supporting OpenID for its 40 million users at their subsidiary company named Orange. This is a huge success for the OpenID community.
To be honest - I’ve been waiting for a big telco to make this move for a long time now, because adopting OpenID makes perfectly sense for telcos in general. Why?
Well, we’ve seen a lot of discussions around two questions. The first is “Can I trust my OpenID provider to not do evil things with my personal data? I mean with my profile, expressed by the sites I visit?”
This question is superfluous now, ’cause your telco already knows very well (even better than anybody else) what sites you visit, when you are online and often even with whom you communicate. The data stored for offering an OpenID service is really only a drop in a bucket.
The other question is “Does OpenID give me any means to identify who’s the real person behind that URL?”
Until now the answer was no. This changes significantly when telcos come into play: Your telco knows who you are, where you live and even your credit card number or bank account. It’s their business to provide you physical access from a real location and identify you as a customer by sending you invoices and receiving money from you.
This means that Orange OpenIDs are verified IDs of real people as a matter of principle. This new “quality OpenIDs” open up a whole new world of trusted services you could imagine as a usage scenario.