Shibboleth is an initiative to develop an open, standards-based method for organizations to exchange information about their users in a secure, and privacy-preserving manner. An open solution means both an open architecture and a functioning, open-source implementation. Standards-based means that the information exchanged between organizations can interoperate with that from other solutions.
Designed for use by higher education institutions and their partners, digital content providers, or government agencies, Shibboleth would determine, for example, whether a person using a web browser has permission to access a resource based on information their affiliations (with an institution, a particular class, etc.). The system is privacy preserving in that it leads with this information, not with an identity, and allows users to determine whether to release additional information about themselves.
The initiative is facilitated by Internet2 and a group of leading campus middleware architects from member schools and corporate partners. We are accepting contributions for further development.
"Shibboleth: Identity the Internet Way" -Phi Becker (Digital Identity World)