“OpenID is an open standard that describes how users can be authenticated in a decentralized manner, eliminating the need for services to provide their own ad hoc systems and allowing users to consolidate their digital identities.”
What this means for us, and why it’s so critical, particularly in light of the last election:
It’s already very widely adopted: “As of December 2009, there are over 1 billion OpenID enabled accounts on the Internet.”
No central authority, such as any governmental body, was involved in its establishment, nor will they be allowed to monkey with the way it’s run: “The OpenID protocol does not rely on a central authority to authenticate a user’s identity.”
YOU are the one who establishes and verifies who you are: “An end-user is the entity that wants to assert a particular identity. A relying party (RP) is a web site or application that wants to verify the end-user’s identifier.” Relying parties, such as the DMV or a prospective employer can further authenticate an end-user, and keep additional information on file using the end-user’s unique public identity number. ONLY the actual end-user, however, can verify they are who they say they are.
The process is 100% electronic, using the same modern authentication and encryption techniques used by modern banking, and which successfully protects billions of dollars each day against hackers. A hacker would not only have to know everything about you, they would also have to know your personal security code/password, without which the system knows the hacker is not you.
As your actual code/password is not stored on the system, even if the system were hacked, or accessed by unauthorized internal breach of security, because of the way the system works, they would still be unable to authenticate themselves as you.
It is fully-endorsed by such noteworthy and objective leaders in cyber security as Sun Microsystems, VeriSign, PayPal, IBM, and Symantec.
Now, here’s why it’s so important given what happened during the last election: 100% of the states whose votes fell towards Obama REFUSED to implement Voter ID measures. Meanwhile, 100% of the states who did implement Voter ID wound up supporting Romney. Coincidence? I think not!
Instead of having 50 different Voter ID systems, however, why not have ONE system, a system that’s managed by those who use it, rather than a system created by a potentially corrupt government who might very well rig the system? Or worse, what we have no, which is no relying system at all…