Mozilla today unveiled Persona Beta 2, the newest edition of the organization's open authentication system, designed to let users sign into Web apps and services without creating new user names and passwords. The release includes a feature called Identity Bridging, which lets user sign in to Persona-supported sites using their existing Webmail accounts, starting with Yahoo.
At first blush, Persona may sound a lot like the single sign-in features offered by Facebook and Twitter. However, Mozilla asserts that the Persona approach better protects user privacy. "Facebook and Twitter sign-in conflate the act of signing into a website with sharing access to your social network, and often granting the site permission to publish on your behalf," said Lloyd Hilaiel
, technical lead for Mozilla Persona. "Sometimes this is what a user wants, but far too often, it's absolutely not. People get really upset when advertisements or high scores are broadcast to their friends unexpectedly."