Online Identity Concept Series


Your online identity, which is key to enabling a personalized Web experience, is not simply a single atom of data. It is a dense cluster of your accounts (e.g. e-mail, banking, shopping, etc.), relationships and other personal information, spread across the Web and throughout all of your personal computing devices.

Your Web browser, as your most trusted relationship in your life online, has nearly perfect knowledge of everything you do on the Web. We envision a world where your browser will play an even more active and critical role in helping you control and shape your online experience.

To realize this vision, we need to increase the browser’s understanding of your online identity and provide a platform for building new capabilities that securely take advantage of this rich, dynamic set of data that represents the digital “you.”

And so, today we are announcing an initiative as part of the Mozilla Labs Concept Series to explore these and other new concepts for online identity in the browser.

Ideas, Use Cases and Open Questions
Here are some of the initial ideas, use cases and open questions to help get things started.

  • As you connect with new sites and people online, how can your browser help you manage all of your account information?
  • How can your browser help when you discover something cool on the Web that you want to share with your friends?
  • What role can your browser play in helping you manage your Web contacts and relationships?
  • What can your browser do to enable you to securely share data with websites and third-parties in return for context-rich Web experiences?
  • How can your browser help you manage and stay informed about how and where your data and data about you flows on the Web?

Guiding Principles
We believe any solution that helps people take control and manage their online identity should:

  • ensure that it is easy for people to set up their own services (as needed) with freely available open standards-based tools
  • provide users with the ability to fully control and customize their online experience, including whether and how their data should be shared with their family, their friends, and third-parties
  • respect individual privacy (e.g. client-side encryption by default with the ability to delegate access rights)
  • leverage existing open standards and propose new ones as needed

Initial Concepts and Prototypes
Over the next few weeks, you will see a wide range of activities as we begin a focused exploration through the Mozilla Labs Concept Series and host discussions with the wider Internet community about your online identity. We hope that you’ll add your voice to the discussion.

To kick things off, we will be releasing a series of initial concepts and prototypes to provide thought, facilitate discussion, and inspire future design directions for Firefox, the Mozilla project, and the Web as a whole.

How to Get Involved

– Ragavan Srinivasan on behalf of the Mozilla Labs team

10 responses

  1. Borsuk wrote on :

    Firefox should have a plug-in with the extensive capabilities of KeePass for secure password management

  2. Frakes wrote on :

    Sounds scary. My fault. I’m catching the cold of the season.

  3. Jens wrote on :

    I have to say again that I am really irritated by the increasing use of Google Groups as a Mozilla communication channel. You have your own NNTP server – why not use that?

  4. Mike Grace wrote on :

    It’s very exciting that you are headed this direction and thinking about all of this. Look forward to the progress and awareness that you will be bringing to the community.

  5. lonergoth, David Pincott wrote on :

    I’m just your average web browser…

    However, I use the same Username, LonerGoth, everywhere I go on the net, some, 15, 16 sites I actually ‘frequent’ and I pretty much use the same password with minor changes…

    So is any improvement needed? surely its a matter for the site admins to re-make their sites to incorporate twitter accounts and open id synch to present accounts, and not the browsers own fault at all?

  6. Ben Bland wrote on :

    This is really encouraging to read. If a browser like Firefox can double-up as an interface for managing one’s online life, that’s the Holy Grail of social media found. I think a lot of it will come to down to making the incoming data feeds (eg. Twitter), and the outgoing publications (eg. status updates), easy to review and edit swiftly.

    Good luck

  7. David Ammouial wrote on :

    Some years ago I started working on a project called DIAS: Decentralized Identity and Authentication System:

    The rough idea is to enable people to use a JID to identify on the web, be it on websites or in fact any kind of authenticated transation.

    It’s a 4-step mechanism:
    1. You ask a ticket to the “server” (website or similar entity) using your JID, via Jabber
    2. They give you a ticket
    3. You provide it on the “server”, via its original communication channel (e.g. HTTP)
    4. The server checks it and lets you in, associating your session with your JID.

  8. ideathinker wrote on :

    the Online Identity Concept Series by Mozilla sounds interesting and promising, I’m looking forward to follow and promote this project.

  9. Werenfried Ressl wrote on :

    This i find very interesting! Looking forward to concepts organizing my online identity with Moz

  10. Mario Kober wrote on :

    I use 1password, that does all those things for me. I´d prefer to have it synchronized via internet / server. So it would be possible to log me in at every computer with firefox and have access to my identities, passwords, …