The Web Graph Database
Light-Weight Identity (LID) Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
- Why is it called Light-Weight Identity?
We follow a tradition of "simple" or "light-weight" protocols, such as LDAP (the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol), SNMP (the Simple Network Management Protocol) and others. The original goal of LID was to be implementable by a skilled programmer over the weekend.
- Is LID a centralized system?
No. Unlike most other systems with related functionality, LID allows individuals and companies to be in complete control over their digital identities without having to trust an external service provider, simply by self-hosting their identities. LID gives you a choice that many others do not: host your own digital identity, or use a service provider whom you trust.
- How is LID different from OpenID?
They used to be different, circa 2005. LID now incorporates OpenID protocols into the broader LID architecture.
- How is LID different from Yadis?
Yadis became the discovery specification for LID V2, so LID uses Yadis for discovery.
- How is LID different from Liberty Alliance and SAML?
Liberty Alliance was started to allow on-line merchants to form "circles of trust" within which a consumer would not have to re-authenticate. For example, it would allow a user of an airline website to also order a rental car without having to log on to a second site. LID, on the other hand, focuses on giving individuals a digital identity on the internet that they can control themselves, which is a fundamentally different (and largely complemetary) focus.
- How is LID different from Facebook Connect?
Facebook Connect puts Facebook at the center, not the user. LID is user-centric, not organization-centric. Users can set up any digital identity at any place of their choosing in the manner of their choosing. Facebook tightly enforces Facebook's rules of the day, without any input from the user.
- Why don't you use E-mail addresses instead of URLs?
Historically, LID has preferred HTTP URLs because they can be entered into a browser and useful information about the user can be found. However, LID can be used just as well with e-mail addresses, if using a suitable discovery protocol.
- How does LID prevent identity correlation?
By using different identifiers for different purposes.
- Can abandoned LID URLs be maliciously reclaimed?
The attempt can be made; however, the public key of the user retrieved through the LID identifier will be different, which indicates that a different user now owns the identifier.
- Is there a central registry of LID URLs somewhere?
No. Because LID URLs are regular URLs, there is no central registry of LID URLs anywhere, just like there is no central registry of regular URLs anywhere.
- Is LID REST-ful?
Oh very much so. LID follows all the same principles as REST in InfoGrid.
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