Monday, October 02, 2006

Yahoo BB Auth

Recently Yahoo! U.S. introduced an api which enables other developers to access their users' identity.
They call it "Browser-Based Authentication", and abbreviation is "Yahoo BB Auth".

I found that the naming was confusing, especially to Japanese Yahoo! users. Japanese telecom company Softbank and Yahoo Japan already branded their ADSL service as "Yahoo! BB". If you search "Yahoo BB", almost all entries are saying about this broadband internet service (currently). This implies that branding officer in Yahoo is not aware of their local services fully.

Anyway, This kind of service is interisting, and sounds nice to me. Google has already released its account authentication api. Maybe Flickr is the first (AFAIK) to open this kind of external access. This feature would be another must for future web 2.0 services.

But for the people who are moving ahead Liberty Alliance, or User-Centric Identity, this kind of movement might be unwelcome. Dick Hardt, CEO of Sxip, is saying "Yahoo/Google is deepening its identity silo". He says they aren't learning from the failure of MS .NET Passport.

User-centric, or distributed identity system is nice. I love it. But I'm afraid that the lack of this might not have been a main reason of the .NET Passport's failure. Currently it seems that users are not so unconfortable with their service, and developers are delighted with it. Who stops this opening movement of identity access, even if the api is a proprietary one? Because their service itself is absolutly proprietary, developers will not so be angry if the api is proprietary.

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