Norway is in a nice place when it comes to national identity federation. Aside from having the will to make it work, there are the very practical advantages of a unique national identifier and a trusting population to match. The child of these factors was a project called “MyID” that provided citizens with an authentication solution based on reusable pin codes and federating according the SAML2 standard.
Since it’s inception the solution has developed; or rather it’s goal has moved and the system has adapted. Back in the day, MyID was created to meet a specific need: authentication for the service aggregation portal “MyPage” that would support magic links (read: single sign on with aggregated services). Today, MyID has been superseded by ID-Porten which wraps the original pin code solution in a solution which also offers other authentication methods from smart-card based identity providers as of version 2.0, and that provides authentication for over 180 public service providers.
My personal satisfaction comes from seeing a national federation solution succeed so grandly; the majority of the Norwegian population over 13 use MyID/ID-Porten when interacting with the government! And did I mention that it is running on some fantastic open source access management software?
PS: I mentioned the Norwegian national identifier as a practical advantage, but didn’t claim that this was the right way to do it. Certainly the direction has to be away from using a single identifier even if it does make life easier, and thankfully this is where I understand ID-Porten to be headed.