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google-authentication

Google released a couple of interesting products (as beta, natch). The first is their hosted email service, which allows enterprises to outsource their mail services to Google.

The second products is Google Authentication for Web Applications. (Hat tip to O'reilly). Google Authentication looks a lot like Kerberos. The 3rd party website gets a token from Google, not the actual credentials.

It seems to me that Google could really push this idea by accepting tokens from other authentication services as well. In that way, a university that outsources their mail to Google could still maintain their directory of users.

I'm not 100% sure that it matters. I guess that the university could just stop forwarding the mail, but then they have yet another service to de-provision when a user leaves.

Accepting an authentication token from another source would also allow for implementing two-factor authentication. Google could implement two-factor authentication themselves as well, which might help get more businesses on board. Just give us call.

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