Sunday, June 20, 2010

Facebook – the next Single Sign On

All of companies spending since years millions to develop a single sing on. Having in a company over 40 different software applications, a single sign on is important. I worked myself on two projects to develop a single sing on solution. This sounds easy but it is not.

As a consumer or Internet user, you might have a lot of online accounts; one for each of your banks, for each online retailer, each credit card and each social network. I don’t have many accounts or credit cards but I still come to over 25 different accounts access. I had to install 1Password to keep track. Even if you try to keep your username name and password always the same, it does not work, because sometimes your username is your email, sometimes given by website etc. Or you are already a member and don’t remember anymore.

To be honest it is ridicules that we need to keep track on all these access codes. Sure it is kind of save because if somebody hacks your account A then the account B is not hacked.
Now finally we have one company that understands that we should not have so many access codes in our private life. Facebook offers other companies to use a facebook account as login. I love it. Ok, facebook might not have the best privacy policy, but at least it helps me not to remember 25 or more access codes.

I believe if facebook is working hard on keeping this data secure, it might be the best marketing and selling point for them. Facebook of course need not only to gain trust with their members (which is not too hard) but gaining trust with online retailers that they can rely on facebook and their security of data. As a bank or online retailer, the biggest assets are their customers and this data need to be very very secure. I am sure facebook tries provide this security and will assure that they won’t know about important user data which is not meant for them (maybe I am dreamer).

I think facebook will be more and more the only login people will have to shop or pay credit cards. Of course as a user I will always have the choice not to use facebook login at other websites, but I will be among them who prefer to have one login for everything like I am used to have at work.

We will soon see a lot of movement in this direction. Already meetup and other websites offering that the user can choose to use their facebook login.

BTW Apple and Google are trying this since years. Google with their gmail account and apple with mobile me account, but both were not able to extend it outside their services. 

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