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Windows CardSpace 2.0

Updated: December 18, 2009

Applies To: Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0, Windows 7, Windows Vista

Windows CardSpace 2.0 Beta is a new system for representing your digital identity online. It is designed to work with Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0 and Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) technology to be more secure than other methods of online identification, such as a simple user name and password.

Your identity is what you say about yourself, but it is also what others say about you. For example, your employer can say that you are an employee of the company, or your favorite website can say that you have an existing account with it and an associated e-mail address.

In real life, we use a plastic card—for example, a driver's license, a gym membership, a student card, or a discount card—to prove who we are and what we can do. Online, you can use Information Cards with CardSpace 2.0 to do the same thing. CardSpace 2.0 holds your Information Cards on your computer just like a wallet holds your plastic cards.

As CardSpace 2.0 technology becomes more widespread, websites that you have a relationship with will issue you an Information Card. You will then be able to reuse this card to later sign in or otherwise send information about yourself to the sites when you visit them later.

A website might ask you to present an Information Card to prove who you are. CardSpace 2.0 finds the cards that you can use with this site. Then, you can choose the card that you want to present to the site.

You can use the same Information Card on multiple websites. Information Cards do not transmit your credentials, and these sites cannot use them to impersonate you.

Getting started

Learn how to use Information Cards

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