[OpenID] My 2 Cents to the OpenID foundation

Peter Williams pwilliams at rapattoni.com
Wed Apr 8 19:11:54 UTC 2009

So, this is the crux of our openid adoption issue.

So we manage a network of hundreds of websites operating offsite, many of which take credit card data. All fall under the PCI umbrella logically, but many do not -  actually. Some billion dollar order payment gateways play games with the PCI rules and act as an merchant aggregator (thus ensuring that the PCI rules only apply to the gateway hub, not to the spokes). The PCI and transaction acquiring world can actually deal with those _disclosed_ risks, requiring only that https is used between the remote site/spoke and the auditable hub (think RP and auditable OP). that is: https from browser to RP storing sensitive data: https from RP to  OP converying application instructions for said data; and then OP talks to VISANet through various switches.

But to the use case! either openid can or cannot be used to access those n00 sites, which either store sensitive data or are messaging proxies to an "OP" (which then stores the sensitive information remotely).

If openid cannot be trusted for this function (to pay a $1 bill by visa at those n00 sites), there are only 2 choices:

1.       The same site ALSO offers websso by other protocol suites (i.e. SAML2)

2.       The RP site retains its local identity management process.

AS it standard today, we do both 1 and 2, somewhat undermining openid.

We are getting into a conundrum. RPs must delegate all sensitive attribute management/processing to OPs, but openid does not have suitable design to work with RPs doing anything sensitive.

Or as sun used to put it: openid is ONLY for that which doesn't matter to you if you were to lose it, tomorrow. And that includes access to any site where you have to  pay a subscription (by CC).

One thing openID needs to do is remember its use case.

Is expanding openID to cover financial and other high value transactions the correct thing to do if it raises overall complexity of implementation.
Once openID starts requiring XML DSIG and SAML token parsing, I think it becomes a different animal.

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