BPuhl’s Blog

A little bit of everything without actually being much of anything

EASI ID’s (part 1)

Posted by BPuhl on March 26, 2009

When you log into a website which you use for personal stuff, for example using your Google or Windows Live ID; or even better, logging into Facebook or Myspace.  What do you use for a user name?

Intuitively I’ve known this for a while, but I have recently been having a ton of discussions about EASI logins, or Email As Sign In.  This makes sense, when you register at a website, they ask you for your email address, and that’s what you’re “user name” becomes.  Simple, easy to remember.

There are of course, a couple of flavors to this.  In the case of Facebook for example, you must “verify” your email address.  When you sign up, they send you an email, you click on it (proving that you have access to the email address), and then you get in.  Of course, not all services require verification, and for those, you can enter any email address you like.  Just ask Robert Schuler if he thinks verification is necessary when creating an online identity!

I just got back from TEC 2009, an excellent conference that I have the privilege of speaking at, where I always get into great conversations with a ton of incredibly smart folks.  Since I’ve been in this “EASI/Online/Enterprise Identity Convergence” kick lately, and since I was surrounded by a bunch of identity management professionals, i asked whether anyone had experienced issues with using their work email address for EASI logins to personal websites.  In general, the answers were either, ‘no, because I’ve worked at the same company for years and consider my work email my “primary” address’ – or – ‘Yeah, and it was the biggest PITA and I hope to never have to do that again’

The one answer that surprised me though, was one person who actually said that she’d worked at a company before, where they had hired a new person.  And they had actually provisioned this person a new account 3 weeks before the he was scheduled to start, just so he’d have that new email address and could migrate all of his online service accounts to it.  I’m honestly not entirely certain how this was a good idea, but alas we are all IT folks, and have to do what we’re told.  Kind of crazy though.

More to come on EASI ID’s, and some of the quirks we’re seeing as more and more enterprise services are moved to the cloud.


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