Mozilla launched its Persona single sign-on platform to let you easily log in to websites without chaining yourself to a social network or storing passwords locally. However, it never really caught on. As with Thunderbird, Mozilla eventually turned most of the project over to the community. And now, Mozilla is pulling the plug on its remaining involvement. As of November 30th, any sign-ons handled through persona.org will stop working -- if your website uses official Persona sign-ins, you'll have to find an alternative. Mozilla will continue to offer developer support and security fixes until that fateful day, but it's not pouring more effort into it beyond that.
It'll be relatively easy to transition away, since the system relies on email addresses rather than "opaque" IDs. Mozilla is also planning to purge user data, so you shouldn't have to worry about your logins escaping into the wild. Still, it's hard not to see the shutdown as something of a loss. While Persona didn't have many users even at the best of times, it was one of the few truly independent sign-in systems outside of OpenID. It'll be that much harder to escape the Facebook and Google sign-ins you see all over the internet.
[Image credit: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images]