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EBU targets cross-platform authentication

An EBU project group is to develop an alternative to proprietary single sign-in systems, such as Facebook and Yahoo, which could be used across connected TV and radio receivers.

The project, led by the BBC’s Sean O’Halpin, the lead engineer in the BBC R&D Internet Research and Future Services section, will develop an alternative to proprietary single sign-on systems that already exist. The group will develop a variant of the widely implemented open standard OAuth 2.0 protocol specifically targeted at IP-connected media devices. The proposal may ultimately be submitted for adoption in OAuth 2.0.

For its web-based services, including the BBC iPlayer, the BBC has introduced the BBC iD. It also allows users to sign in through Facebook and Google accounts.

The EBU says it has decided to on the project as there is a distinct shortage of non-commercial alternatives. “The lack of standards in this area has led to early adopters taking the easy option of hooking into pre-existing authentication systems from popular web-based services like Facebook or Yahoo!. However for broadcasters, and public service media organizations in particular, it would be preferable to have the option of using an independent solution that is not under the control of a commercial company.”

Participation in the CPA project group is open to broadcasters and manufacturers.