The management of a user's identity. Within the enterprise, an identity management system comprises a system of directories and access control based on policies. It includes the maintenance of the system (adds, changes, deletes) and generally offers single sign-on so that the user only has to log in once to gain access to multiple resources. See user management and provisioning and directory service.|
The Public Internet
On the Internet, traditional identity management is a username/password system developed for each Web site or group of Web sites. Identity infrastructures, such as OpenID and the identity metasystem, embodied by Microsoft's CardSpace and the Higgins project, provide a unified approach to identity management in the public online world.
Identity management also embraces data sharing, and the infrastructures mentioned above offer users control over how their data are shared with Web sites and other online entities. See OpenID, identity metasystem and single sign-on.