The Liberty Alliance Project today unveiled business and policy guidelines designed to help organizations cope with the business, legal and privacy challenges of deploying federated identity management.

According to the consortium, the guidelines are based on the real world experiences of its members who have successfully implemented federated identity systems.

Liberty's Business and Policy Deployment Guidelines, developed by the Alliance's Public Policy Expert Group (PPEG), will be "the first of many" tools and documents to come from the Liberty to provide assistance with this decision framework, the organisation promised.

PPEG member representatives from BIPAC, the US General Services Administration, Oracle and Sun Microsystems spearheaded the development of the deployment guidelines.

Liberty pointed out that policy decision makers need tools to help identify and manage the many business considerations involved in developing such circles of trust, the legal and contractual frameworks governing federation between organisations.

"Policy decision makers around the world continuously point to business, legal and policy concerns as the biggest barriers to implementing industry 'circles of trust' or federations," said Dan Blum, Senior vice president and research director at Burton Group.

Liberty advised that organizations developing circles of trust need to address, among other things, what type of information will be shared among companies, how and when it will be shared, what security procedures will be used to maintain the confidentiality of such information and how participants may join or leave the circle of trust.

The consortium said its guidelines aim to help policy decision managers better manage these issues in order to develop circles of trust more quickly and successfully.

"Companies have a lot to consider as they move to establish circles of trust," said Michael Aisenberg, chair of Liberty's PPEG and director of government relations, VeriSign.

"We've created these guidelines to jump-start the business conversations policy decision managers need to have when creating Circles of Trust and to help organizations learn from our experience in developing open federated identity solutions."

www.projectliberty.org