RealTime IT News

Liberty Alliance Shifts Board

The Liberty Alliance Project lost the top member of its executive team Friday.

The coalition of companies focused on an open-system single sign-on for the Web services sector, said Eric Dean is stepping down as president of the Liberty Alliance Management Board.

Dean, CIO of United Airlines , said his duties at the airline were preventing him from "devoting the amount of time and energy necessary to perform the duties of president." United will continue to be a sponsor member.

The group is the brainchild of Sun Microsystems as an alternative to Microsoft's .NET and Passport initiatives. The idea is to create standards for identifying users the first time they log on and then letting other sites recognize and authenticate the user.

Michael Barrett, vice president of the Liberty Alliance Management Board and vice president of Internet strategy for American Express , will chair the Management Board until a new president is elected.

"During Eric's tenure as President, the Alliance has moved from being just an idea, to a significant organization which has delivered on the first part of its promise." said Barrett. "With almost 100 members, it is clear the Alliance has a continuing role to fill in developing an identity standard that will meet the needs of both consumers and businesses. The Management Board and members of the Alliance will continue to move the Alliance forward."

The Alliance said it was still on track to deliver version 1.0 of its specifications in the first quarter of 2003.

Founding members of the Alliance are: American Express, AOL Time Warner, Bell Canada, Citigroup, France Telecom, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard Company, MasterCard International, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Openwave Systems, RSA Security, Sony Corporation, Sun Microsystems, United Airlines and Vodafone.

Recently, the group added 30 new members to its lineup including representatives from new industries such as healthcare and media.

The Alliance is holding its first all-participant meeting on September 19, 2002, in Chicago. Members attending the meetings are expected to discuss the Alliance's progress and provide input on the strategic direction of the Alliance and its specifications.