NEW YORK An alliance of 33 companies announced plans this week to create a standard approach that would enable an Internet user to use just one sign-on identity to access disparate electronic services.
The alliance includes Sun Microsystems, General Motors, Cisco Systems, Dun & Bradstreet, Bank of America, American Airlines, United Airlines, Nokia and 25 others. Under the proposal, users would only have to log in once in order to be authenticated for a wide array of services, ranging from movies-on-demand to banking and electronic commerce, even if those services were provided by different businesses.
Observers said the Liberty Alliance appears to compete head-on with Microsoft's Passport software, which lets users enter a name and password to log on to affiliated sites.
The alliance hopes to enable consumers and businesses to maintain personal information securely and to provide a universal, open standard for a single sign-on with decentralized authentication.