E-government Group forms within Liberty Alliance

New group will address government concerns with federated identity projects

A new group within the Liberty Alliance will address government concerns with federated identity projects, the organization said Wednesday.

The Liberty Alliance is a consortium of companies and organizations working on technology and policy standards for identity projects. The eGovernment Group will focus business, technical and policy issues, with an emphasis on privacy and security issues.

The alliance has supported a range of protocols and standards that companies can implement to allow users to move easily from one Web site to another without having to key in a login and password again, among other functions. Companies stand to gain greater efficiency in dealing with passwords by federating identities while also streamlining how their Web sites interact.

The eGovernment Group includes representatives from Denmark, Finland, France, Korea, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. The group is chaired by Colin Wallis, of the New Zealand Government’s State Services Commission.

The countries represented so far are on the forefront of e-government projects, wrote Graham Titterington, Ovum analyst, in a research note. The announcement has commercial significance going beyond the public sector, he said.

"This initiative is another indication that the Liberty specifications are resonating with major IT user organizations, this time in the public sector," Titterington wrote. "Governments have considerable influence as role models for the consumer sector, and there is scope for sharing identity networks with the private sector."

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