2016-01-01#User-centric Identity is getting bandied about a lot these days. It's generally understood to be a different way of expressing the entire identity transaction as opposed to what might be called the "enterprise-centric" approach traditionally used within provisioning, federation and even simplified sign-on situations. There is still much confusion as to exactly what steps are necessary to make the transaction truly user-centric, though.
Unfortunately, when most people outside the identity field look at the two supposedly opposed organizational methods they simply don't understand what all the fuss is about as both methods revolve around the identity of people, the users. There's also nothing that mandates that either method is solely concerned with the identity of people; both can (and are) extended to the identity of things, concepts, protocols and more.
Identity 2.0, also called digital identity, is set of methods for identity verification on the internet using emerging user-centric technologies such as Information Cards or OpenID. Identity 2.0 stems from the Web 2.0 theory of the World Wide Web transition. Its emphasis is a simple and open method of identifying transactions similar to those in the physical world, such as driver's license.
Industry analyst firm the Burton Group described it as follows: "In Identity 2.0, usage of identity more closely resembles today's offline identity systems, but with the advantages of a digital medium. As with a driver's license, the issuer provides the user with a certified document containing claims. The user can then choose to show this information when the situation requires".
The current internet model makes taking one's identification difficult from site to site. This was described in the Burton Group report as, "today's identity systems—which represent a "1.0" architecture, feature strong support for domain management but exhibit scalability and flexibility limitations when faced with the broader identity requirements of Internet scenarios." In that light, user-centric proponents believe "federation protocols (from Liberty Alliance, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards OASIS, and the Web Services working group) are bastions of a domain-centric model but do little to recast the architectural foundations of identity systems to support grander structures."