FAQ

General
What is the thedualdiagnosis?
What are the objectives of thedualdiagnosis?
What is Network Identity?
What is Federated Network Identity?
How will Federated Network Identity benefit users?
Who are the members of the thedualdiagnosis?
Is there a calendar of upcoming member meetings and their locations?

Specification
When will the specification be ready?
Which member companies are developing the spec?
How long will it take before there is a tangible consumer-oriented product?
What developments have you made since the Alliance was formed last September?
Will the Alliance specification be a competitive product versus Microsoft Passport?

Membership
What are the various levels of membership in the Liberty Alliance Project?
Does it cost money to participate in the Liberty Alliance Project?
How is the Alliance money used?
Why are members joining; what benefits do they receive?
How do I join the Alliance?
Is there a “Member Web Site” or Intranet for members?
What are “All Participant” meetings and how often are they held?
Are Associate and Affiliate Members allowed to participate in expert group meetings?
Do members get to see a draft of the specs?
DoHow do members comment on the specs?

GENERAL

Q: What is the Liberty Alliance Project?
A: The vision of the Liberty Alliance Project (https://projectliberty.org) is to enable a networked world in which individuals and businesses can more easily conduct transactions while protecting the privacy and security of vital identity information. To accomplish its vision, the Liberty Alliance will establish an open standard for federated network identity through open technical specifications that will:

  • Support a broad range of identity-based products and services
  • Enable commercial and non-commercial organizations to realize new revenue and cost saving opportunities that economically leverage their relationships with customers, business partners, and employees
  • Provide consumers with choice of identity provider(s), the ability to link accounts through account federation, and the convenience of single sign-on, when using any network of connected services and devices
  • Increase ease of use for e-commerce consumers
  • Help to stimulate e-commerce

Membership is open to all commercial and non-commercial organizations.

Q: What are the objectives of the Liberty Alliance Project?
A: The key objectives of the Liberty Alliance are to:

  • Develop specifications that enable commercial and non-commercial organizations to protect consumer privacy
  • Provide an open single sign-on specification that includes federated authentication from multiple providers operating independently
  • Enable commercial and non-commercial organizations to control, maintain and enhance relationships with constituents
  • Create a network identity infrastructure that supports all current and emerging network access devices

Q: What is Network Identity?
A: Network Identity refers to the global set of attributes that are contained in an individual’s various accounts with different service providers. These attributes include information, such as names, phone numbers, social security numbers, addresses, credit records, payment information, etc. For individuals, it’s the core of their existence — to be carefully guarded, with access carefully controlled. For businesses, it’s at the heart of their ability to know their customers and reach them in ways that bring value to both the business and the customer.

Q: What is Federated Network Identity?
A: Federated Network Identity involves account federation and federated single sign-on. Account federation enables associating, connecting, or binding a user’s multiple Internet accounts within an affiliated group established between or among commercial and/or non-commercial organizations and governed by some legal agreement. Federated single sign-on enables users to sign-on with one member of an affiliated group of organizations, and subsequently uses other sites in the group without having to sign-on again.

Q: How will Federated Network Identity benefit users?
A: Federated Network Identity provides users with a choice as to who they want to trust to hold their identity and personal information, and allows them to place their trust and their identity information with multiple organizations or groups. Federated Network Identity also provides users with the convenience of being able to login at one service provider’s site and then go to an affiliated site without having to re-authenticate or re-establish their identity.

Q: Who are the members of the Liberty Alliance Project?
A: The Liberty Alliance Project has over 40 member companies – a full listing can be found at https://projectliberty.org/members.html. Members of Liberty’s management represent over a billion customers, including: American Express, AOL Time Warner, Bell Canada, Citigroup, France Telecom, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard Company, MasterCard International, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Openwave Systems, RSA Security, Sony Corporation, Sun Microsystems, United Airlines, and Vodafone. 

Q: Is there a calendar of upcoming meetings and their location?
A: Yes, this calendar will be posted and accessible via the Members-only web site. It will be continuously updated to reflect changes in schedule.

SPECIFICATION

Q: When will the specification be ready?
A: The Liberty Alliance will attempt to be as timely as possible in delivering a solution, but will take the time necessary to deliver a solution that provides benefits to users and is viable from a business standpoint. This is a complex endeavor that will require a phased approach. We announced in February that we’d deliver on Phase I of our specification by the middle of this year. This announcement will also define the next phases of spec development, what they will comprise of and when protocols will be made available.

Q: Which member companies are developing the spec?
A: All Sponsors are involved in the development of the spec through participation in the different expert groups. The expert working groups are comprised of representatives from a cross section of the member companies. The technical specifications are developed in the Technology Expert Group, based on a set of requirements developed by the Marketing Expert Group and the Public Policy Expert Group.

Q: How long will it take before there is a tangible, consumer-oriented product?
A: It will be some time before the entire system is designed, in place and in use by a broad segment of consumers. However, there are important benchmarks and standards to put in place along the way. Right now, the Liberty Alliance Project is working to design and develop an initial phase of the specification. We anticipate that consumer benefits from this phase will emerge soon after the specification is implemented among member companies.

Q: What development have you made since the Alliance was formed in September?
A: We have created all the processes and protocols of governance and formulated work groups dedicated to technology, marketing and public policy. We are very close to the release of the Phase I specification. Our membership continues to grow – we are now more than 40 members strong. We have opened Affiliate and Associate memberships and expect that to increase membership even more.

Q: Will the Alliance specification be a competitive product versus Microsoft Passport?
A: No. The purpose of the Liberty Alliance is interoperability not only across member company web sites, but also across all other systems to facilitate electronic commerce and protect consumers’ identity and privacy.

MEMBERSHIP

Q: What are the various levels of membership in the Liberty Alliance Project?
A: There are three levels of membership in the Alliance: Sponsor, Associate and Affiliate.

Sponsor membership provides full participation in Alliance working groups and activities for those companies interested in having an active role. The Management Board is made up of Sponsor members who serve split two and three year terms. At the end of their terms members seats are open to all Sponsor members for election. Any sponsor can become a member of the Management Board at that time.

Associate and Affiliate memberships are available to comercial companies and non-profit and government agencies, respectively, providing an opportunity to view and comment on draft specifications via the web prior to public release, and to participate in special “All Participants” meetings held twice a year. For more information on Liberty membership please visit https://projectliberty.org/membership.html.

Q: Does it cost money to participate in the Liberty Alliance Project?
A: There are different fees for Alliance membership, depending on the particular membership level. The annual fee for Sponsors is $120,000 and for Associates is $1,000. There is no fee for Affiliate members. A full fee structure and the benefits of each membership level are outline on the web site at: https://projectliberty.org/membership.html.

Q: How is the Alliance money used?
A: The Alliance will determine specific allocation of funds to be used toward development and execution of an architecture, a development/engineering effort, marketing programs, and to cover all the expenses involved in meeting the objectives of the Alliance.

Q: What are members joining; what benefits do they receive?
A: Primary goals of all Alliance members are to increase the ease of use for e-commerce consumers and to help to stimulate e-commerce. Liberty Alliance members have the opportunity to participate in and influence the creation of an open specification that will help to achieve these goals. Members also enjoy the benefit of interacting with experts from the wide range of industries represented by Liberty Alliance members.

Q: How do I join the Alliance?
A: Please accept an open invitation to all companies and organizations to join the Alliance and participate in developing an open solution for federated network identity. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Liberty Alliance Project, the best way to get started is by visiting: https://projectliberty.org/membership.html or by contacting the Liberty Alliance administrative team:

Q: Is there a ‘Member Web Site’ or Intranet for members?
A: 
Yes, and all members are invited and encouraged to use it. It can be accessed via: https://projectliberty.org/members

Q: What are ‘All-Participant’ meetings, and how often are they held?
A: At least twice a year, the Liberty Alliance will hold “All Participant” meetings which are open to all members at any level. At “All Participant” meetings, members will be given a status report of the tactical and strategic directions of the Liberty Alliance and an opportunity to provide feedback.

Q: Are Associate and Affiliate Members allowed to participate in expert group meetings?
A: No. But Associate and Affiliates can be invited to expert group meetings at the specific request of the expert group based on need for specific expertise. It is requested that Associate and Affiliate member companies do not approach the expert groups or leaders of the expert groups to request participation.

Q: Do members get to see a draft of the specs?
A: All draft specifications and proposals for comment are posted in the Members Area of the Liberty Alliance web site. When new materials are posted for review, all members are notified by e-mail.

Q: How do members comment on the specs?
A: A mechanism is employed by which Associates and Affiliates may submit comments toward draft specifications and proposals, and by which those comments are stored and reviewed. 

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