Open Trust Frameworks for Open Government

This special joint white paper from the OpenID Foundation and the Information Card Foundation was announced at the Open Government Identity Management Solutions Privacy Workshop held in Washington D.C. on August 10, 2009. It outlines the approach both foundations are taking to enable open, Internet-scale trust networks using OpenID and Information Cards.


Open government requires a way for citizens to easily and safely engage with government websites. Open identity technologies—specifically OpenID and Information Cards—fit this bill. They make it easier and safer for citizens to register, login, and when necessary share personally identifiable information across different websites and services. To bring open identity technologies and open government together, the OpenID Foundation and the Information Card Foundation are working with the U.S. General Services Administration to create open trust frameworks for their respective communities.

These frameworks, based on the model developed by the InCommon federation for higher education institutions, will enable government websites to accept identity credentials from academic, non-profit, and commercial identity providers that meet government standards. These standards are critical as they represent the government’s resolution of the challenging and often competing issues of identity, security, and privacy assurance. Open trust frameworks not only pave the way for greater citizen involvement in government, but can enable even stronger security and privacy protections than those typically available offline.

Information Card Foundation Copyright 2009-2011 ©