The Liberty Alliance has released the second version of its Web services
framework, including the group’s People Service for letting computer users
securely access social applications such as blogs.
Part of ID-WSF 2.0, the People Service allows enterprises and service
providers to shuttle social software, such as blogs, instant messaging and
photos, to consumers and enterprise users.
Paul Madsen, co-chair of the Liberty Alliance Technology Expert Group, said
the People Service will let users manage all of their online social
relationships and give permission to others to access information at various
social application sites such as networking entity Friendster and photo-sharing service Flickr..
In the Liberty tradition of providing secure transactions, the People Service
also ensures tighter control of identity information and increased
protection from identity theft and fraud, Madsen said.
For example, users invited to view information with applications within the
social network can do so without being required to establish a new account
at each site. This provides greater control of identity information by
reducing the duplication of data throughout the network.
How does the People Service work? Madsen provided a consumer and enterprise
scenario in a document.
Suppose Bob, a subscriber to online networking services, wants to share
pictures with friend Tony. But he wants to limit the photos Tony can view at
the photo-sharing application to one folder containing recent vacation
But Tony does not have an account at the photo-sharing application and
doesn’t want one. With Liberty People Service, Bob can invite Tony to view
the information based on privacy controls he has established in his
federated social network. Tony can view his photos without having to create
an account or provide personal information.
The technology would also work in the enterprise, helping corporate
employees use the People Service to define the groups and/or roles of
colleagues at their company and others.
Employees can define access control rules for their calendars, ensuring that
they all see only the appropriate subset of the full calendar. They can also
send out documents to colleagues working on a particular project without
having to create a separate mailing list.
Madsen said Liberty created the service because there is no consistent, secure layer to help people interact online.
“The current Web doesn’t help people find each other and, once found,
interact with each other,” Madsen said.
In other enhancements, Liberty said the ID-WSF 2.0 now allows SAML 2.0
assertions to be used as security tokens, and WS-Addressing to enable
asynchronous messaging capabilities.
Liberty will release the final version of ID-WSF 2.0 during the first half
of next year. But those interested in checking out the ID-WSF 2.0 specs may
view them now here.