Monday, August 20, 2012

#OpenID for the USERS of #Wikipedia, PLEASE


Again a discussion about the use of OpenID for the Wikimedia projects flared up. From my perspective the one perspective missing is the one of a computer user who is fed up with the failed security that is provided by passwords.

The problem is that systemmanagers only consider security in isolation. It is the solution that is to be adopted for their system or systems. Obviously in a perfect world, a user will have a separate password for each website or program. The world is not perfect and most people use one or a few passwords for everything. The world is not perfect and passwords of many big websites have been uncovered by hackers. Consequently many passwords used by Wikimedia contributors can easily be guessed by the bad guy who are in the know.

The problem with passwords for a user is that they are unmanageable. Too many systems and websites, too many interfaces seriously impact the security wherever passwords are implemented to provide security. It is theatre and the fool is the part you have to play.

OpenID provides a serious alternative. It allows for a single place with a single password that authenticates to any and all websites and services that accept security in this way.  It is a serious alternative as long as any and all accept other OpenID. It will be really welcome when the WMF considers security for its 456 M users. It is obvious that a large percentage also frequent websites like LinkedIn and solidify the argument to implement OpenID.
Thanks,
     Gerard
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