User-centric identity refers to giving the consumer control of what information they want to give up when registering at a web site. Facebook has often been viewed as the opposite of this because it doesn’t give the consumer a choice of what information is given up when registering for a new app.
The social networking giant is reconsidering this though and starting to test anonymous login to third-party apps. Mark Zuckerberg, announced the pilot program at Facebook’s F8 developer conference.
Anonymous logins will give individuals the ability to test an app without giving up information. It will also enable consumers to use a Facebook login across multiple devices.
The new system is also designed to clearly state what information the user is giving up and eventually might let the consumer decide what information they want to share.
The move by Facebook is a good first step, says Olivier Amar, CEO of MyPermissions, a security technology company. “Although there are still lots of open questions regarding how long users will be able to try apps for, instant personalization and other items, today Facebook raised the bar when it comes to accessing people’s personal information, data, privacy, and it is enabling users to take control over what others can access,” Amar adds.
Janrain is also behind Facebook’s move, says Larry Drebes, CEO at Janrain, a provider of social id and customer profile management services. “We fully support initiatives by social platforms to protect privacy and give more choice to their users,” he says. “Sharing one’s social identity with any business should be part of a clear give-to-get relationship where both sides understand the value they are receiving and their rights and responsibilities in the relationship.”
Janrain plans to provide its customers with support for Facebook’s Anonymous Login.