With the latest code rollout to Ting.com, our awesome developer team has added support for Mozilla Persona. Persona is a single sign-in that gives you easy access to any site that supports it.
Single sign-in isn’t anything new. What is new though is putting the power into the user’s hands. By default, Persona shares the bare minimum of information with sites you sign in to or sign up for; just your Persona email address. Later, you can add more information if you choose but you always have control over how and if that info is shared.
Next time you go to sign in to your Ting account page, you’ll see the Sign in with Persona icon in the top right. To start using Persona, just enter the same email address that’s associated with your Ting account, create and verify a password and you’re in. Subsequently, when you visit Ting, you’ll have one-click access to your Ting account whenever you’re signed in to your Persona.
Persona also lets you login quickly regardless of which browser you’re using which is a real boon for anyone that uses different browsers for different tasks. Typically, you’d either have to install an extension (like 1Password) in your browsers or store all your passwords across multiple browsers.
Why Ting likes this single sign in solution
Born of the BrowserID project, Persona is quite young and so isn’t in wide use on the web. Given how simple it is for developers to implement though and considering the convenience and respect for the user’s privacy, we expect it will start to catch on.
Because Persona is simple to implement (even for developers who field multiple feature requests daily from multiple people who don’t truly understand the impact of the ask… no names), it can be up and running in an afternoon. It also opens up user registration for small, simple and purpose-built projects like the example site My Favorite Beer.
The fact that user privacy is one of the foundations on which Persona is built means it’s the first single sign-in solution that we feel is worthy of recommendation and of implementation. We suspect the larger developer community will feel the same way.
Persona doesn’t track you as you travel the web. Your history is only stored on your own computer. As Mozilla is a not-for-profit and given that there’s a lot of profit to be had in selling user data, it seems a more logical and safer choice.
Solutions for keeping all your various passwords straight are many. Even your browser offers to store all your passwords and in turn, pass them on to the various sign-in required sites you visit.
That said, you’re putting a lot of faith into a company and / or application when you entrust it with your passwords. To that end, Persona takes passwords out of the equation; it’s not remembering your passwords so much as its eliminating the need for a password on sites that support it. It’s like an online passport.
If you’re anything like us, the convenience of storing your passwords in your browser is overshadowed by the discomfort of having your passwords stored somewhere other than in your grey matter. We like Persona for the fact that it melds the convenience of a single sign-in solution with the security and privacy that are too often so sorely lacking.
Are there other single sign-in options like Facebook Connect you’d like to see on Ting? Are you a developer who can offer some feedback on our implementation of Persona? We’d love to hear from you! Hit us up in the comments below.