SXIP offers new digital-identity paradigm

Thursday, March 31st, 2005

Jim Jamieson

With incidents of identity theft on the rise and concerns about safeguarding personal data online at an all-time high, a Vancouver technology entrepreneur is developing a new paradigm of a universal digital identity.

One of the keynote speakers at yesterday’s Techvibes Massive 2005 technology conference, Dick Hardt said the current model is in dire need of an update both for security and ease of use reasons.

“Right now you have online identity, but it’s in a one-on-one relationship,” Hardt said.

“There’s a lot of software out on the web where you have to fill in things to identify yourself over and over again. We want a user-centric model.”

Hardt founded software company Active State in 1997 but, after it was sold two years ago to U.K. security vendor Sophos for $23 million US, he has concentrated on a new project, called Sxip Networks [].

Sxip (pronounced “Skip”) is a service that will provide a single sign-on for users and will release as much or as little information as the user wants.

The Sxip network carries data between the user, the website that asks for personal information and a trusted “homesite” –which would be hosted, for example, by a major portal such as Yahoo! or a bank.

Several companies are on the trail of such a service — including tech giant Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

Hardt has been in conversations with all of them.

© The Vancouver Province 2005

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