Identity at Mozilla

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  1. Deploying BrowserID at Mozilla

    Nov 17, 2011 — by benadida

    Over the next few months, we’ll be deploying BrowserID on Mozilla web sites. When we do, we’ll point users to this blog post to explain what BrowserID is and why we think this is good for users. If you still have questions, remember you can easily join our mailing list or just Tweet with the hashtag #browserid.

    What is BrowserID?

    BrowserID is a very easy way to log into web sites by proving you own an email address. BrowserID is designed to be tightly integrated into your web browser for ease-of-use, and it is designed to be privacy-protecting: the only data exchanged is that which is strictly necessary to log in. BrowserID is a product of Mozilla, and we are working to standardize it so that other browser vendors can, if they choose, easily integrate it. In the meantime, Mozilla provides a simple JavaScript mechanism that lets web sites use BrowserID right away, across all modern browsers, on desktop and on mobile.

    How is this good for users?

    BrowserID makes it easier for users to register at new web sites and subsequently log back into those sites, using any email address they choose. Users are free to use different email addresses for different purposes, and the process of signing in becomes easier and safer. Users maintain complete control over their identity, only now they have fewer passwords to remember.

    At Mozilla specifically, it makes even more sense for our users to sign in with BrowserID: rather than have a dozen accounts with different Mozilla web sites, users need only one BrowserID account, which will let them partake in any site they choose at Mozilla. What’s the point of having multiple accounts, each with a different password, yet all with the same organization?

    It’s important to note that this is not automatic single sign-on. Users can log into a new Mozilla web site with only two clicks, but they are logged into only the specific Mozilla web sites where they choose to be logged in. BrowserID makes logging in easy, while maintaining complete user control.

    Some additional details

    BrowserID is new, so you probably still have questions. Here are some additional points we’ve found can be helpful in understanding BrowserID:

    • BrowserID does not share data between sites that use it.

    • Because BrowserID lets users choose any email address to log into a web site, it’s easy for a user to create a single-purpose email address to log into a given web site. BrowserID remembers which email you used on which site, so it helps you pick the same single-purpose email the next time you log in.

    • BrowserID stores your email addresses on Mozilla servers, protected by Mozilla’s infrastructure security team. We do not sell or transmit your information to third parties, and you can completely delete your account with us at any time. You can read our complete (and simple) privacy policy.