Equifax Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Novell Inc., Oracle Corp., and eBay Inc.'s PayPal Inc. have founded the Information Card Foundation, which will advocate for an easier and more secure online identification process.
The companies, which announced the Needham, Mass., nonprofit Tuesday, said the creation of one-step online digital identities, or Information Cards, would increase "user control over their personal information while enabling mutually beneficial digital relationships between people and businesses."
The cards would replace unique usernames and passwords at many Web sites. Charles Andres, the foundation's executive director, said in a press release that the cards would "let people 'click-in' using a secure digital identity that carries only the specific information needed to enable a transaction."
Consumers using such cards would be able to control their personal information, have multiple cards with different amounts of detail, and choose among those cards for different transactions, the companies said. According to Mr. Andres, the online businesses accepting the cards "will enjoy lower fraud rates, higher affinity with customers, lower risk, and more timely information about their customers and business partners."
The foundation said its members could include financial institutions, retailers, educational and government institutions, health-care providers, retail providers, travel, entertainment, and social networks.