Mozilla Persona sign-in launches in beta, skips the social networking ball and chain (video)

Mozilla Persona signins launch in beta, skip the social networking ball and chain

We all know those web pages where the only alternative to a site-specific login is a social networking account. That's not very reassuring for anyone skittish about linking their commentary to a Facebook account relatives might see, if they're even willing to join a social network in the first place. Mozilla has been aware of that hesitation long enough to have just released its long-in-development Persona sign-in service as a beta. Although it has the same kind of simple approach to a login as a Facebook or Twitter pop-up window, Persona's emphasis is on privacy: it stops paying attention the moment credentials go through, keeping any diatribes or subscription details from landing in social streams or central databases. Users don't have to play a rousing game of guess-the-username, either, as they just need to sign in with one or more familiar e-mail addresses and a single password. Persona faces an uphill battle in getting web developer adoption when the establishment sign-in services are open to hundreds of millions of internet citizens, but it does have The Times' online crossword section, OpenPhoto and Voost as early poster children -- and anything that lets the privacy-minded join the party has our vote.