Called Advanced Client, the specs let programmers write software that will safely store identity data on a device to make single sign-on, Web services, authentication and user-controlled provisioning possible when the device is connected to a network or offline.
Liberty, a consortium including AOL (Quote), HP (Quote), Intel (Quote) and others dedicated to ensuring safe Internet transactions, published the specs at a time when concerns about managing online identities is at a boiling point.
New research from Gartner shows that some 15 million Americans fell prey to some form of identity-theft fraud over a one-year period ending in mid-2006. That's more than a 50 percent increase from the 9.9 million victims in 2003.
While OpenID, Microsoft's CardSpace and Project Higgins are all addressing secure identity management on Web sites, Liberty created Advanced Client to assuage identity-fraud concerns at the client level.
Advanced Client specs include Trusted Module, which allows the client to assert assurances on behalf of the authority issuing the identity in a smart card or other token.
Service Hosting/Proxying (SHPS) technology in the specs allows a service, such as a calendar or e-commerce profile, to be hosted on a client device, such as a smartphone or laptop. Others may interact with the service when the device is online or offline via a proxy based on controls established by the user.