Mozilla unveils public Persona
By Digital News Asia October 2, 2012
- Public beta of online identity management system Persona has been released
- Call for developers to try out the system and provide feedback
MOZILLA has released the beta version of its browser-independent online identity management system, Persona.
The Persona system was first launched as an experimental project called BrowserID in July 2011 with the goal of “completely eliminating passwords on websites while being safe, secure, and easy to use.”
The project is intended to offer users a secure alternative to creating and managing multiple passwords and provide developers a way to support multiple authentication methods on their sites.
Apart from being similar to other authentication systems like OpenID in its promise to streamline the sign-in process for users across multiple websites, Persona is also touted to offer better privacy as the system doesn’t track the activity of its users across the Web.
"It creates a wall between signing you in and what you do once you’re there. The history of what sites you visit is stored only on your own computer," said Mozilla.
However concerns have been raised over the system’s a single point of failure with the Persona password.
In an article by Lucian Constantin for PC World, Ben Adida, Persona project lead at Mozilla, stated via email: “There is, of course, no way around this.”
To address the issue, Adida said Mozilla plans to implement some additional protection mechanisms such as two-factor authentication and has already implemented a session protection mechanism to limit the security risks if a user’s laptop is stolen while he’s still logged into persona.org or if a user forgets to log out after using a public computer.
In a blog post by the Mozilla announcing the beta release, the Identity team said Persona is ready to use for authentication, works in all major smartphone, tablet, and desktop browsers with highly available and stable infrastructure.
Significant changes to Persona since its introduction include:
- An entirely new (and better) API.
- A more streamlined first-time user experience.
- Added support for showing a site’s name and logo in the login dialog.
The Mozilla Identity team has also issued a call for developers to try out the new identity management platform, stating that “Persona is an open source project and we gladly welcome input and collaboration from the broader community.”
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