Why Facebook wasn’t at the Internet Identity Workshop. (They’re soft-launching “ClosedID”.)

The reports from last week’s Internet Identity Workshop were generally quite encouraging. My colleague from Plaxo, Joseph Smarr, reports, “We now have the tools we need as a community to really make friends-list portability work.” Joseph was really encouraged by the maturation of key open standards, such as OpenID and OAuth, and by how so many of the big players made sure to be well represented at the event, including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL.

Conspicuously absent?  Facebook. Not a single employee could find the time to head down from Palo Alto to Mountain View to engage in a dialogue about open industry standards for identity on the Internet. That’s curious. Hmmmm.

Given that this fit with a pattern I has seen before at BarCampBlock and the Data Sharing Summit, I didn’t waste much thought on the topic. That is, until a source who-shall-go-un-named shared with me that Facebook has just quietly launched a “single sign on” initiative designed to put them in position of de facto cross-site identity monopolist.

What I’m told is that Facebook is out recruiting lighthouse accounts to embrace Facebook ID as their methodology of site sign on. There was no press release or marketing launch, because the company is fighting enough privacy-related fires at the moment.

Anyone else heard of this? Let’s work together to uncover the truth.

And for an update on OpenID see Chris Messina’s recent post.

2 thoughts on “Why Facebook wasn’t at the Internet Identity Workshop. (They’re soft-launching “ClosedID”.)

  1. […] admittedly-rumor-based-but-still-thought-provoking post from John McCrea: …a source who-shall-go-un-named shared with me that Facebook has just quietly launched a […]

  2. […] and that we are about to see them open up like a flower. (I certainly seem to have it wrong about them launching an alternative to OpenID, for which I hereby formally apologize to my readers and to Mark and […]

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