I wish I didn’t have to register at and maintain my profile for each web site that I use that requires me to log in. A shared (not necessarily centralized) registration/login system would be a big convenience and time-saver. The Liberty Alliance has been talking about one for a while, but don’t know when, if ever, it will materialize. Microsoft seems to be lowering the external marketing for Passport. I like Six Apart’s TypeKey, but wonder if they have enough backing and industry and public interest for it to last and remain free.
Some people worry about the privacy concerns of a shared registration system. I think it is safer to give your info to one shared system than to give it to dozens. What happens when I need to update my passwords (or anything else in my profile)? I’d rather do it in one place.
It does make sense for certain sites to ask for registeration: e-commerce sites, sites that provide utilities and services, and sites that charge for content. However, even for these sites, it would be nice if I could use a digital wallet — a common online digital identity, rather than manage my account on each site.
Also read the article by John C. Dvorak of PC Magazine on the topic of content sites requiring user registration before allowing readers access to content:
Thankfully, you don’t need to register to read his article :-)