OpenID = public authentication
Passpack = private, secure storage
You can see right off the bat that these two technologies supply different, though very complimentary, services.
Granted, here at Passpack, we’re also releasing an auto-login tool (yes, it’s coming) that pushes us into the realm of authentication as well, though that’s not our primary function.
Actually, we’ll be introducing various new and exciting features that will push us into various different realms, but Passpack will always be private, secure storage at heart.
A Non-Ideal World
Alas, there will always be places OpenID can’t log you into. In fact, a major challenge facing OpenID is an excess of providers (folks that give you an OpenID, like AOL and WordPress) and a lack of consumers (sites that actually let you log in with OpenID).
All the logins and passwords for non-OpenID sites will still need to be kept secure. You can do that with Passpack.
Not Just for Passwords
There are an infinite amount of codes, registration numbers, software keys, frequent flyer miles, order numbers, confirmation codes, pins, etc that need to be safely stored and organized.
None of those things can be handled by OpenID.
However, all of those things can go into a Passpack account.
Security and Phishing
OpenID has no innate security. It was built to solve the problem of authentication, not security. For example, Phishing is a major problem for OpenID users, and providers are not required to use HTTPS (though most thankfully do).
Right now, a bunch of services are sprouting up around OpenID. That’s great news! But just remember, it’s up to these services to build security layers on top of OpenID. So choose your OpenID provider wisely – make sure they offer HTTPS and some sort of anti-phishing mechanism. MyOpenId is a viable option.
Starting All Over Again – Multiple OpenIDs
OpenID aims to reduce the problem of “too many logins”. Fabulous! …um … but … I already have more than one OpenID. I now need to remember (and protect) these too.
Guess where my multiple OpenID’s went? Yup, straight into my Passpack account. Just tag them “openid” and they’ll be easy to find.
Will Passpack Ever Support OpenID?
Yes. Signing in with an OpenID has been in the pipeline for a while now, and will be added in one of the upcoming releases. I know, I know… I can hear your thoughts right now:
“You just said how unsecure OpenID is, and now you say you’ll support it?”
Yes, remember – it’s up to services that use OpenID to build in security layers. Passpack can do that. It’s got anti-phishing built in already and, thanks to the Packing Key, should your OpenID account ever be compromised, the pack inside your Passpack account would still be locked up with your Packing Key.
Now the Million Dollar Question…
How many of you would actually want to sign into your Passpack account with OpenID? And how many of you that don’t already have a Passpack account would sign up for one if there was OpenID support?
What you say counts – especially when we sit down to review the release schedule. So let us know your thoughts.