Web Identity: Weighing the Alternatives

Wednesday, 13 November 2002, 3:41 PM EST

Suppose an airline wants to give its online customers access to special offers from its hotel and car rental partners, yet spare those users the bother of logging in each time they link to a new password-protected Web site.

The airline also might want to give its employees access to the secure sites of its 401(k) and insurance providers without forcing them to prove their identities multiple times.

Two of the more prominent options the airline might consider are Microsoft Corp.'s Passport service and future systems based on specifications drawn up by the Liberty Alliance Project, an industry consortium with more than 120 members, whose founders include Sun Microsystems Inc., American Express Co. and United Air Lines Inc.

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