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People Service

Liberty’s People Service provides users with tools for managing all of their online social relationships within an open federated network environment.

Liberty Alliance People Service is the industry’s first open framework for allowing enterprises and service providers to deploy a wide variety of social applications to consumers and enterprise users based on a consistent view of those user's social networks. Liberty’s People Service provides users with tools for managing all of their online social relationships within an open federated network environment.

A social application is any application that delivers some or all of its value by enabling interactions (direct or otherwise) between users. Examples include shared bookmarks, blogging, photo sharing and instant messaging.

A federated social network is one in which users can track and maintain their online social networks established by an individual who wants to share social application information with others using Liberty People Service. With Liberty People Service, users can manage all of their online social relationships centrally as well as give permission to others to access targeted information at various social application sites.

There are many benefits, with better and easier control of identity information and increased protection from identity theft and fraud at the top of the list. With Liberty People Service, users can easily categorize, store and maintain all of their online social relationships. Users invited to view information at one or more applications within the federated social network can do so without having to establish a new account at each individual site. This provides greater control of online identity information by reducing duplication of identity data throughout the network and enables more systematic enforcement of privacy policies across social applications.

Liberty Alliance is the only identity focused organization with a Public Policy Expert Group (PPEG). This group offers guidance and best practices on privacy within all Liberty deployments. Liberty People Service leverages the work of PPEG to provide consumers with choice and controls for managing online identity information in the federated social network.

John, a subscriber to an online photo service, wants to share pictures with family and friends. But he wants to limit the photos individuals can view at the photo sharing application to one folder containing recent vacation pictures. Many of the individuals invited to view John’s pictures do not have accounts at the photo sharing application and don’t want to establish an account. With Liberty People Service, John invites individuals to view the information based on privacy controls he has established in his federated social network. Users can view John’s photos without having to create an account or provide information such as an e-mail address or other personal identity data.

An employee at Acme.com uses the People Service to define the groups and/or roles of colleagues at both Acme and Beta.com with which they work on various projects. Based on these groupings, the employee can define access control rules for their calendar, ensuring that they all see only the appropriate subset of the full calendar. Additionally, they can send out documents to all colleagues working on a particular project without necessarily having to create a separate and duplicative mailing list in their email client.

Liberty People Service allows users to enable a wide range of social applications through a framework that respects the privacy of the involved users and minimizes the duplication of social information. This reduces the chances of identity information being obtained and used fraudulently by would-be identity thieves. Because sharing e-mail addresses with providers is not a requirement in the federated social network, the likelihood of phishing and other e-mail scams are greatly reduced.

Absolutely and this is a key benefit of today’s release. Liberty Alliance People Service provides a foundation for enhancing other applications such as Liberty’s Geolocation, Contact Book and Presence Web services. The value of applications that build on these services is maximized when there are multiple individuals in the mix, but this implies functionality by which the connections between such users is captured. By providing such a framework, Liberty People Service can enable increased functionality of all applications linked in the federated social network.

Without exception, Liberty People Service delivers consumers new and powerful tools for managing online social applications. But People Service functionality is not limited to the consumer space alone. Enterprises and organizations requiring a more secure and easy way to manage and share online information will benefit from People Service technologies. Liberty Alliance has always been focused on delivering open identity solutions with choices and controls for managing privacy as a top priority and Liberty People service extends this functionality across all vertical sectors.

Yes. Once Liberty releases a draft version of specifications, they are available to everyone – both Liberty members and non-members alike -- for comment and review. Liberty’s Technology Expert Group (TEG) then works to incorporate input from the review into final specifications.

Liberty has released the first of two whitepapers in support of People Service. The whitepaper authored by Paul Madsen, co-chair of Liberty’s Technology Expert Group, Liberty ID-WSF People Service – Federated Social Identity is available for download.