Liberty Alliance Pads Membership

The Liberty Alliance Project, a coalition of companies focused on an open-system single sign-on for the Web services sector, Wednesday said it has added 30 new members to its lineup including representatives from new industries such as healthcare and media.

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.

With today’s announcement, the Alliance now has more than 95 for-profit and not-for-profit organizations onboard.

“Participation and interest from our members is instrumental in keeping the momentum of the Alliance going strong,” said Eric Dean, president of the Liberty Alliance and chief information officer of United Airlines. “The Alliance put a significant stake in the ground last month when we released our first specifications – but our work is not complete. This expanding, diverse and extremely motivated group will help bring us the next step.”

The list of new members includes: Baltimore Technologies, Bridgewater Systems, Calendra, Cavio Corporation, Coherity Inc., Cygsoft Inc., DigiGAN, Diversinet Corp., Ecreations Software, Engineering Partnership in Lancashire, Entegrity Solutions, ePresence, Financial Services Technology Consortium, Healthcare Financial Management Association, Imprivata, Inc., Internet2, Java Wireless Competency Centre (JWCC), Lycos Europe, Network365, Newspaper Association of America, Oblix, Inc., Phaos Technology, Quadrasis, Sprint , Studio Notarile Genghini-SNG, Telia Research, The PAM Forum, TRUSTe, Trustgenix, and WaterWare Internet Services Inc.

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.

Among the most helpful to the Alliance are the additions of Sprint, TRUSTe and Bridgewater.

The addition of Ontario-based Bridgewater is being heralded as a triumph. The company provides IP network, service and access control solutions for service providers, which the group says makes it valuable.

“Authentication and identity management for access control to new communication services has been one of our strengths since our inception, said Bridgewater co-founder and executive vice president Doug Somers. “We are pleased to be members of the industry-wide alliance that is setting key new standards in this area.”

TRUSTe is another coup for the group. The privacy organization, which gives its “seal of approval” to companies that abide by its guidelines, has been working on developing standards for the wireless world since February, when it signed on AT&T Wireless as its initial partner in the effort.

The Alliance also announced it would be 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.

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