Mobile heart for Mozilla Persona

CC BY-SACC By-SA © 2011 Andrés Leonardo Martínez Ortiz. Some rights are reserved. This document is distributed under the ”Attributions-ShareAlike 3.0” Creative Commons License available here.
Why emerging countries need that Mozilla Persona includes MSISDN as identifier.
Nowadays thousand of millons people are using Internet. To them, digital identity means blogging, mailing, social networking but also it means financial services, e-Health or e-Government. The uncontrollable growth of services has created multiples autentication processes, appearing many identity's holders, making harder the security and UX. As a conclusion, digital identity is a highly risk business for everyone.



Internet map by Opte Project Internet map by Opte Project[/caption]

Enterprises, public administrations and Internet communities are working since some time ago, looking for a solution "to rule them all".  OpenID, Facebook Connect or GMail  are some of the most populars. The absence of agreement does not seem to be only a matter of technical limitation but a matter of conflict of interests. Therefore, now more than ever, Open Web should be a mandatory principle.

Fortunately during last years Mozilla, a non-profit organization, has developed its own identity platform, intially called BrowserID and recently renamed to Mozilla Persona. Mozilla is one of the most important Open Web advocates. To make it even better, many companies seem to have found in the Foundation a way to modulate their business strategies, creating a perfect enviroment for collaboration between companies, public administrations and Internet communities. So, Mozilla Persona could be the first step to an identity plaform for the Open Web (You can find here the main differences between OpenID and Mozilla Persona.) No doubts.

Currently Mozilla Persona uses an email address as identifier (design & technical details here). Taking into account that these days everyone on Internet has an email address, it makes sense. However, let us take a look from a different perspective. Let us think what happens with emerging countries and newcommers. First of all, the data about some latinamerican countries (BlueVia offers a bunch of useful information here):



Therefore, on average LATAM countries have broadband penetration of 6,65%, mobile penetration of 107,65 with a feature phone share of 84,31%. From this data, anyone can easyly conclude that many of citizen in these countries will become mobile Internet user as first experience on Internet. Even more, considering initiatives such as Open Web Device / Boot 2 Gecko, cheap devices running an Open Web platform will flood many of those countries, becoming the entry point to Internet for million of users.

For all of them, any identification platform should offer a smooth way to get an digital identity. Clearly any Internet mobile user will have a mobile number (MSISDN ) before an email address. Therefore, in addition to email address, Mozilla Persona should support MSISDN as identifier.


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