OpenID Vendor Lock-In (sort of)

Continuing my previous post about OpenID and Vendor Lock-In, a reader of this blog named Andrew commented on the previous post about a problem he had with MyOpenID.com and Zooomr. He has some valid points here which I wanted to highlight in this post (he also had some points that I think can be easily fixed or that are actually a non issue). You can also read my complete answer to Andrew here.

Prior to discovering the whole idea and notion of OpenID Andrew registered to Zooomr. Zooomr’s accounts are actually OpenID accounts which they provide, so every Zooomr user also gets an OpenID account that he can use on other OpenID supported sites.

Zooomr delegates the management of the OpenID to MyOpenID.com through their affiliates program. (UPDATE: Apparently, this is not true. For some reason I thought it was the case, but it is not)

After Andrew got to know OpenID he wanted to truly own his identity by using his own domain (either use delegation or run his own server, whatever he chooses), but now he could not use his identity in Zooomr since Zooomr doesn’t have the notion of supporting multiple OpenID identities tied to the same Zooomr account.

In fact, he is tied to his OpenID identity in Zooomr for using Zooomr and since he got a Pro4Life account this identity will never die.

In my previous post I’ve suggested a couple of ideas to avoid OpenID vendor lock-in. I now want to add an additional point:

  • Sites should support the ability to associate multiple OpenID identities so that a user can add, remove and switch the identity used to access a certain account in a certain site.

Jyte and claimID, for example, support the ability to add multiple OpenID identities and associate them with a single account of each site respectively. You can then login to these sites with each and every one of the OpenID identities you have associated with your account.