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
, network directory
and directory service
The Public Internet
On the Internet, traditional identity management is a username/password system developed for each website or group of websites. Identity infrastructures, such as OpenID and the identity metasystem, embodied by Microsoft's CardSpace and the Higgins project, were designed to 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 websites and other online entities. See OpenID
, identity metasystem
and single sign-on