Andre Durand has been blogging about the mash-up between user-centric identity and federated identity. His company, Ping Identity has put forward the idea of active versus passive federation. Active federation is essentially user-centric federation, and passive federation is the classic federation model where big business gets together and talks about us while we all watch the pretty pictures. In his recent presentation at Digital ID World, Ping CTO Patrick Harding had some great enterprise use cases where user-centric identity added the element of consent to the transaction, for example, access to a 401k account, or outsourced payroll services.

Now, while marketing must have its marketing phrases and there is nothing inherently wrong with active/passive federation, I think the rest of us might find the phrase consentual federation a little more descriptive. After all, consent is the major difference between the two. Oh, but what then to call the other type of federation… sneaky federation?