Mountain View, CA – November 2, 2009 – Avoco Secure, a leading security, digital identity, and digital signature vendor based in the U.K., announced at the OpenID Summit today that it is releasing the first commercially available Information Card selector software that operates completely “in the cloud”. Called CloudCard, it is a standard Information Card selector implementation that requires no installation and works from any conventional browser on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
Susan Morrow, Product Manager for CloudCard, demonstrated today how it eliminates the need for local client software, which is one of the barriers to widespread adoption of the Information Card digital identity standard. CloudCard uses the standard IMI 1.0 Information Card format and protocol so it works immediately with any Information Card issuer. Websites that wish to accept Information Cards from CloudCard currently need to add some simple custom HTML code to their web page, but according to Ms. Morrow this step is easy compared to the hurdle of requiring users to install a desktop selector, and Avoco plans to standardize this special code so it can be used with any cloud selector.
Avoco will demonstrate CloudCard again tomorrow at the Internet Identity Workshop in Mountain View.
The Spring 2009 Internet Identity Workshop concluded three days of intensive discussion of key Internet identity technologies last week. Following an introduction to Information Cards on the first morning by ICF Executive Director Drummond Reed, sessions on Information Card technology were held throughout the week.
Mr. Reed and Kynetx CTO Phil Windley held two sessions on action cards, the new application of Information Card technology to augmented web browsing (for more details, see the ICF white paper, The Information Card Ecosystem). Mr. Windley demonstrated how an action card rule could be written to add a real-time Twitter search to a Google search results page. "With the Kynetx Rules Language (KRL), any Information Card can be used to share user context across two or more sites in ways that provide immediate user value", said Mr. Windley.
Sara Peters wrote a great article about how Information Cards are awesome and furthermore, how flawed SSNs are, since no one, not even the Social Security Administration, can verify that your SSN belongs to you.
But do Information Cards have a fatal flaw? Are they secure? Do they live on your computer? Are they portable? Can your information cards be stolen? Even if you are downloading managed cards verified from a trusted identity provider, are they giving you something that you can lose or can be stolen?
The Information Card Foundation was formed by a community of thoughtful Internet architects and developers whose primary objective is to provide us all with the tools to control our personal information in a safe secure manner. This is not an easy task. But to make it easy for the end user, the core of the design was a user ceremony we are all familiar with -- cards. The digital equivalent of the pieces of paper and plastic we carry around in our purses or wallets -- driver's license, library card, etc.
But what do digital cards really mean? As usual, it is just an analogy. Think about e-mail -- it is usually delivered much faster than postal mail, so much so that the latter is now often referred to as 'snail mail'. Or think about your computer's 'desktop' Well, it's sort of like a desktop, but it has these other cool features like organizing tools, deleting or storing files, changeable backgrounds, etc. So it is much more than a physical desktop, yet if the architects that created the Macintosh had not chosen such a simple, understandable metaphor, early users would have been confused.