President Obama put the U.S. Commerce Department in charge of a cybersecurity effort to give each American a unique Internet ID. But Facebook also wants to supply your unique Internet ID and its identity infrastructure is already on millions of websites. If participation remains voluntary, could Facebook distribute your Internet driver's license?
Worldwide, e-commerce is estimated at $10 trillion annually. The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) plan of developing a secure and privacy-enhancing "identity ecosystem" for the Internet is supposed to lower the risks of identity theft, which is rampant, and create a greater confidence in online transactions since less personal information would be collected and stored with each transaction. But there are privacy and civil liberties groups who oppose the idea of any government intelligence agency being in control of its citizens online ID. Many of those same group oppose the government requiring a backdoor into all online programs as part of the Internet's infrastructure.
According to Technology Review, Facebook is becoming a "critical part of the Internet's identity infrastructure" and wants to supply your Internet driver's license. Facebook Login allows any website to use its identity infrastructure by adding a few lines of code so users will see "Connect with Facebook" button on the site. Facebook Connect is one of the most popular codes adopted by websites, so that anyone with a Facebook account is but a click away from logging in, "liking" or sharing a site.
Besides being easy and free for websites to implement, Facebook Connect provides the site with the user's real name as required per Facebook's terms of service. Many sites don't want the hassle and headache of managing their own identity system, but do want users to login for commenting purposes and limiting spam.
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