We caught up with fellow Mozillian Christian Heilmann, who was at the Browser ID stand. Browser ID is an organisation where a single email address and password will let you sign into any web site on the Internet. Browser ID will verify your email address and vouch for your ownership of it for a “Streamlined one-click experience”. All you need to do is click on your favourite website that supports BrowserID, click the ‘Sign In’ button, select your preferred email and that’s it! No password necessary.
We found out how this this could affect the younger generation in the present and help solve common logging in problems we’ve all come across in the future…
Question: What is BrowserID?
“BrowserID means your email becomes your identity. You can use any email you want, go to BrowserID.org and set up your account and enter a password and this is the last password you will ever need because any website that supports BrowserID will give you a button that you can lick on and then you’re logged in, so you don’t have to do all the logging in which isn’t necessary anymore because we have confirmed that this is you. You can have several emails so that you’re not limited to one because a problem we found is that people don’t want to log in to their bank with their Facebook log in because they have personal things there and they don’t want others to get access to it, so that’s a thing we wanted to avoid with BrowserID, so BrowserID is de-centralised so there’s no one company that owns it and the data that goes there will not be sold to any ad providers.
What we wanted to do was make it as easy for users as possible to keep their information on the web and you only give away the information you want to give away. So we evolved OpenID into an email identity so it’s much, much easier for people to understand. It’s not a Mozilla thing, we’re just the company providing the infrastructure and helping out with it but anybody can be a provider for BrowserID and you can actually run everything on your own server.
Question: What’s your view on the younger generation having multiple email accounts, especially ones they are not actively using?
“It’s dangerous, I mean I go through the thing where I reset my password when I forget it I’m like yeah I don’t even try remembering it anymore, but the kids I see for example the have 12 different email accounts because when they forget their password they opened a new one instead and that’s just clogging up the web with information you don’t need. Outdated identities of you on the web are dangerous in the future, like your linked in account that you might not have updated for four years might sabotage your chances of getting hired from companies. We shouldn’t accumulate cruft on the internet that nobody needs and that’s why BrowserID was invented.”
BrowserID is launched and open to everyone.
To find out more about BrowserID, check out http://browserid.org/