The idea is to bring the concept of an identity card, like a driver’s license, to the online world. Rather than logging on to sites with user IDs and passwords, people would gain access to sites using a secure digital identity overseen by a third party. Such identity cards would also reduce the number of phishing incidents.
Microsoft, Google and PayPal, a unit of eBay, are among the founders of an industry organization that is hoping to solve the problem of password overload among computer users.
The Information Card Foundation is an effort to create a single industrywide approach to managing personal identities online that promises to reduce drastically the use of passwords and create a system that is less vulnerable to fraud.