Portland-based Vidoop‘s ImageShield technology has been purported to be one of the most unhackable credential schemes on the market. It’s been tested, time and time again.
But today, the real testing begins.
Now, it’s no secret that this has been in the works. AOL has been forthright about the fact that it has been testing the technology. But it’s been a private BETA:
At AOL we had a chance to try out their ‘ImageShield’ technology since last few months. What we did is basically provide our AOL OpenID users (AOL users using their openid.aol.com/) with a way to secure their accounts by binding an ‘ImageShield’ password, so from next time when they try to login with their AOL OpenID at a 3rd party Relying Party site, instead of the traditional ‘password’, they can login securely using the ‘ImageShield’. In that way they can make sure they are always signing in from the secure AOL login page and also make sure they are not giving away their ‘real’ password to any possible attackers. This has been deployed on our closed beta environment as a trial run to see how our beta OpenID users would feel about the overall user experience and of course the security of their accounts.
Not anymore. Now, as the screenshot above illustrates, Vidoop’s technology is accessible to the public.
I hear you. “So what?” Well, the “so what” is this…
For OpenID logins, Vidoop’s ImageShield technology has generally been available to users of myVidoop. And that’s been about it.
And as much as I respect the Vidoop team and their accomplishments, I feel pretty safe saying that the myVidoop user base is slightly less than the AOL user base. Just a smidge.
But now? Now there is no difference.
Now, the Vidoop ImageShield user base is the AOL user base. Because Vidoop ImageShield is accessible to more than 100 million AOL users.
And, if I had to guess, I would say that that potential—the potential to have more than 100 million people using Vidoop technology to log in to OpenID-enabled sites—would make Vidoop ImageShield about the widest deployment of OpenID-based authentication technology on the market.
And that, my friend, is a big win for Vidoop. And for OpenID.
(And, as always, please feel free to use your myVidoop, AOL, MyOpenID, or other relying party OpenID to comment.)
[Update July 11, 2008] TechCrunch has picked up the Vidoop ImageShield and AOL OpenID story, meaning it might get slightly more pick up now. Great to see Vidoop getting this recognition on a much, much larger stage.