Cloud based services – the future of the Internet

Fred Wilson has a response today to Eric Schmidt’s declaration in Edinburgh that Google+ is an “identity service”. He asks and answers his own question.

“whom Google built this service for? You or them. And the answer to why you need to use your real name in the service is because they need you to.”

Of course Facebook is also an identity service. Facebook Connect is the means of distributing it. And of course Facebook too is built using real names because “they need you to”.

At this level FaceBook and Google have much in common, and both are vying for us to use them for online authentication. Facebook is far ahead of course.

Late yesterday I posted an opinion piece as a guest author on TechCrunch. It is about the uncertain future of web services as mobile devices proliferate globally. We will soon all have awesome identity machines in our pocket. They will be capable of being used to authenticate us (even using 2 step authentication). Any cloud-based 3rd party identity system will be unnecessary.

The future of identity is distributed, under user control, and owned and managed by the user from their device. It will be capable of supporting anonymity and real names and will be able to be trusted by sites requiring you to authenticate. The idea of any 3rd party dictating how you can present yourself online will no longer be applicable. Of course, it still has to be built…..

Having said that, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Google and/or Facebook building an identity system that dictates how we present ourselves. Our choice is to use it or not…..We don’t have to.


One response to “Cloud based services – the future of the Internet”

  1. How soon do you think we’ll be able to use our mobile device to authenticate our identity with web services? That’s what Facebook and Google are doing now. Allowing us to authenticate with other web services. It seems to me there has to be a fundamental change before our mobile device is used as a means to distribute our identity authentication with other web services. Or maybe just a change in attitudes.

    I’ve discussed this exact idea with colleagues for a while now and am personally building a web site that allows for controlling your content ( as it pertains to your online identity, as the internet sees you. With identity authentication distribution in the pipeline. But what is the solution going to look like? Is it a web server running on your phone? Where all requests for your identity are routed? Perhaps even all requests for your activity stream? A dynamic DNS solution that points your domain name to your roaming mobile ip address? That would be cool huh? Ultimately, I think you’re right. Identity in your pocket! There’s gonna be so many cool problems to solve with that. It’s gonna be fun solving them.

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