OpenID is an open standard that describes how users can be authenticated in a decentralized manner, eliminating the need for services to provide their own ad hoc systems and allowing users to consolidate their digital identities. Users may create accounts with their preferred OpenID identity providers, and then use those accounts as the basis for signing on to any website which accepts OpenID authentication. The OpenID standard provides a framework for the communication that must take place between the identity provider and the OpenID acceptor (the "relying party"). An extension to the standard (the OpenID Attribute Exchange) facilitates the transfer of user attributes, such as name and gender, from the OpenID identity provider to the relying party (each relying party may request a different set of attributes, depending on its requirements).
The OpenID protocol does not rely on a central authority to authenticate a user's identity. Moreover, neither services nor the OpenID standard may mandate a specific means by which to authenticate users, allowing for approaches ranging from the common (such as passwords) to the novel (such as smart cards or biometrics).
The term OpenID may also refer to an identifier as specified in the OpenID standard; these identifiers take the form of a unique URI, and are managed by some 'OpenID provider' that handles authentication.
OpenID authentication is now used and provided by several large websites. Providers include Google, Yahoo!, PayPal, BBC, AOL, LiveJournal, MySpace, IBM, Steam, Sherdog, Orange and VeriSign.
Famous quotes containing the word open:
“Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy curtains which are so dear to youyou do not even suspect that the day has already dawned outside.”
—Alexander Solzhenitsyn (b. 1918)