Liberty was formed in 2001 by approximately 30 organizations to establish open standards, guidelines and best practices for identity management. Today it continues to focus on these objectives, with a global membership of more than 150 organizations, including technology vendors, consumer-facing companies, educational organizations and governments from around the world, as well as hundreds of additional organizations that participation in Liberty’s various open community Special Interest Groups (SIGs).

Deployed by organizations around the world, Liberty Federation allows consumers and users of Internet-based services and e-commerce applications to authenticate and sign-on to a network or domain once from any device and then visit or take part in services from multiple Web sites. This federated approach does not require the user to re-authenticate and can support privacy controls established by the user. The market requirements documents and case studies of deploying organizations, as well as presentations of deployments are available. The Liberty Alliance contributed its federation specification, ID-FF, to OASIS, forming the foundation for SAML 2.0, the converged federation specification that Liberty now recognizes.

The Liberty Alliance released Liberty Web Services in 2003. Developed based on well defined business requirements and with controls for consumer and user privacy always at the forefront, Liberty Web Services is an open framework for deploying and managing a variety of identity-based Web services. Liberty Web Services applications include Geo-location, Contact Book, Calendar, Mobile Messaging and Liberty People Service, the industry’s first open Web services framework for managing social applications such as bookmarks, blogs, calendars, photo sharing and instant messaging in a secure and privacy-respecting federated social network. The Liberty Alliance works very openly with other standards organizations, adopting published standards and contributing relevant work as appropriate.

With the deployment of Liberty Federation and Liberty Web Services continuously increasing, the Liberty Alliance has tracked well over one billion Liberty-enabled identities and devices at the end of 2006. A snapshot of organizations deploying Liberty Federation and Liberty Identity Web Services is available in the Adoption section. Additionally, the Liberty Alliance is helping to drive open source development with openLiberty.org, as well as encouraging additional open source activities. The Alliance also helped launch what is now an independent effort, the Concordia Project, that will help drive harmonization of specifications in the identity space.

The Liberty Alliance is committed to helping to grow the identity marketplace, and help deployers to be successful and cost-effective in their deployments. As such, it introduced the Liberty Interoperable (TM) certification program in 2003, designed to test commercial and open source products against published standards to assure base levels of interoperability between products. This program has been recognized globally by end deployers for the assurance that it gives them that products work as advertised, saving time, money, and critical resources as deployers roll out solutions. Currently, more than 80 products have passed testing. Another key aspect to marketplace growth is common understandings of levels of trust, an activity that the Identity Assurance Expert Group as well as its public SIG counterpart, are focused on through the Identity Assurance Framework.

The Liberty Alliance has also focused heavily on the business and policy aspects of identity management, publishing business and policy guidelines in a variety of forms for different business and legal audiences in a variety of vertical sectors. The Liberty Alliance encourages and helps promote public dialogue that helps organizations to better understand how to set up Circles of Trust for federated deployments and other business considerations so that organizations can succeed in their deployments.

Liberty’s History

January 2009

Liberty Alliance Upgrades All Membership Levels to Sponsor

November 2008

OpenLiberty.org Releases First Open Source Identity Governance Framework Software

September 2008

CA, NTT Software, Ping Identity, RSA and Ubisecure Pass Latest SAML 2.0 Interoperability Testing

July 2008

Aetna, Citi, Deutsche Telekom AG and UNINETT Win 2008 Liberty Alliance IDDY Awards

June 2008

Liberty Alliance Releases Identity Assurance Framework (IAF) v1.1

June 2008

Liberty Alliance Releases First Draft of Identity Governance Framework (IGF)

March 2008

OpenLiberty.org Releases Open Source Code for Driving Security and Privacy Into Web Services and Web 2.0 Applications

December 2007

Liberty Alliance Announces First Companies to Pass Full-Matrix SAML 2.0 Interoperability Testing: HP, IBM, RSA, Sun, and Symlabs

November 2007

Liberty Alliance Releases Public Draft of Identity Assurance Framework

October 2007

US GSA Requires Liberty Alliance Interoperability Testing

September 2007

Liberty Alliance Announces Winners of the 2007 IDDY Award: eBIZ.mobility, New Zealand Government, NTT Labs and Rearden Commerce Honored

July 2007

Identity Governance Framework MRD released publicly

June 2007

HP, Intel, NTT and Symlabs First to Demonstrate Interoperability of the Liberty Advanced Client Specifications

May 2007

Liberty Alliance Announces New Membership Structure, Opening SIGs to Public Participation, Opening Mailing Lists and Offering New Membership Benefits, Including Individual Memberships

March 2007

Liberty Alliance Releases New Specifications for Linking Digital Identity Management to Consumer Devices

March 2007

Liberty Alliance Assists Corporate Legal Teams; Consortium Releases Framework for Establishing Contractual Agreements for Digital Identity Management

February 2007

Liberty Market Requirements Development Team Begins Work on Identity Governance Framework

January 2007

Liberty Alliance Announces openLiberty.org Project, Focus on Open Source Development

October 2006

Liberty Alliance Selects Drummond Group to Expand Interoperability Testing Program, introducing full matrix and global Internet-based testing capabilities

September 2006

Liberty Alliance Releases Final Version of ID-WSF 2.0 Web Services Standards

August 2006

Liberty announces first ever IDDY Award (IDentity Deployment of the Year) winners: EduTech, T-Online and the UK Government

July 2006

Liberty launches Standards Coordination Special Interest Group

May 2006

Liberty launches eGovernment and Open Source Special Interest Groups

February 2006

One Billion Liberty enabled identities and devices expected by end of 2006

January 2006

Liberty expands its membership base by fifteen with the addition of CallingID, ChoicePoint, Diamelle Technologies, Inc., Falkin Systems LLC, Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT), LogicaCMG, Livo Technologies, MedCommons Inc., National Board of Taxes Finland, OmniBranch, Inc., Phase2 Technology, Purdue University, SSC New Zealand Govt.,Telecom Italia SpA and TERENA

December 2005

Liberty members from AOL, Intel, Oracle and Sun Microsystems are elected to officer positions

November 2005

Liberty Alliance releases ID-WSF 2.0 R2, introducing People Service, a new social network layer for allowing consumers and enterprise users to manage a variety of social applications in a federated social network

November 2005

Conformance Testing program passes milestone as more than 70 products complete certification

October 2005

Liberty Alliance announces formation of Strong Authentication Expert Group with responsibilities for defining a standard industry framework that enables interoperability of multiple authentication mechanisms in Federated and/or Web services and/or stand-alone digital identity architectures/environments

October 2005

Liberty Alliance announces formation of Payments Special Interest Group

September 2005

Business and Policy Guidelines for deploying federated identity management released, addresses business, legal and privacy aspects of federation

April 2005

Liberty Alliance begins SAML 2.0 testing as part of conformance testing program

April 2005

Liberty Alliance releases “Circles of Trust: The Implications of EU Data Protection and Privacy Law for Establishing a Legal Framework for Identity Federation”. The whitepaper is a must-read for any organization planning to establish or participate in a Circle of Trust in the EU and beyond

March 2005

Three Special Interest Groups (SIGs) form: ID-Theft Prevention, Japan and eHealthcare. Special Interest Groups discuss topics of mutual interest, reflecting their collective thoughts and input to Liberty Expert Groups. Participation in SIGs is open to members of all levels (Board, Sponsor, Associate and Affiliate)

December 2004

Liberty Alliance submits RFI to US Department of Health and Human Sciences in response to Request for Information on “Development and Adoption of a National Health Information Network”. Liberty also participates in a joint filing authored by 13 organizations, including the Markle Foundation, HIMSS, the AMIA, ANSI and a number of other organizations

October 2004

Liberty Alliance announces products and services from 12 companies have earned the Liberty Alliance Interoperable mark– the first event to test against the Liberty Identity Web Services specification ID-WSF 1.0, including Alcatel, Elios, IBM, NEC, Nokia, Novell, NTT, Oracle, Ping Identity, Sun Microsystems, Symlabs and Trustgenix

September 2004

More new sponsor members, including Adobe, IBM, OpenNetwork and Senforce

July 2004

Liberty Alliance hosts interoperability event showcasing Liberty-enabled products and scenarios working together; companies include: AOL, Fidelity Investments, HP, Nokia, Novell, NTT, Sun, Trustgenix, and Vodafone

July 2004

Liberty Alliance expands its membership base with ten new sponsor members. New members include: Business Industry Political Action Committee, Gamefederation, Intel, Kayak Interactive, Mobile Telephone Networks, Oracle and Sharp Labs of America. Members upgrading their status to the sponsor level include: Computer Associates, Giesecke & Devrient and Trustgenix

June 2004

Liberty Alliance releases its business guidelines for federated identity deployments that focus on the 401(k) application space, including 401(k) servicing, provisioning and support

April 2004

Liberty Alliance releases an overview of its Identity Web Services Framework (ID-WSF) acting as a blueprint for secure web services architecture to facilitate connectivity across corporate boundaries and drive business opportunities between trusted companies

January 2004

Liberty Alliance releases Tier 2 business guidelines for mobile federated identity deployments; releases paper on how to reduce identity theft using federated identity

November 2003

Liberty Alliance announces 9 products and services that have successfully passed the first Liberty-sponsored conformance test

October 2003

Liberty Alliance finalizes Phase 2 specifications and privacy guidelines for federated identity

September 2003

Liberty Alliance unveils Conformance Program to validate products and services that have successfully implemented Liberty’s standards; Radicchio contributes existing mobile data services work to Liberty Alliance for further development

June 2003

Liberty Alliance releases Tier 1 business guidelines for wide scale identity federation; contributes v1.1 specifications to OASIS for inclusion in SAML 2.0

December 2002

Liberty Alliance v1.1 specifications publicly released

June 2002

Liberty Alliance v1.0 specifications publicly released; member companies announce upcoming availability of Liberty-enabled products

April 2002


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