Mozilla has introduced its online identity offering: Mozilla Persona, “a collection of components and experiences we’re designing to manage the whole of a user’s online identity with our core values of user control, safety, and convenience.”, reads the official announcement.
Mozilla Persona will use BrowserID protocol for identification purposes but, based on its description, it will most likely include other online data like that browser generated: passwords, forms, history, bookmarks, tabs, and Firefox preferences, as currently supported by Firefox Sync, and opens the possibility to future Mozilla and third party offerings: e-wallet, web applications, and every other element that could be considered a part of your online identity.
As for personas, the toolbar backgrounds, they are getting a new name to be announced. The Mozilla Add-ons blog called for voting on a new name a few weeks ago, from a few options including: theme, skin, background, and, wallpaper. Expect one of those to take its place soon.
Reusing a semi-brand name is a tricky matter, and a first for Mozilla, even considering out some localization issues that arose in the last weeks, but Mozilla seems pretty confident in the gambit, as it “believe[s] the long-term value of the Persona name will far outlast the short-term discomfort of change”.
Naming matters aside, an online identity offering from an organization committed to users and the open web as Mozilla, is great new for users on all platforms and browsers. As you may know, Firefox Sync, Mozilla’s password, bookmarks, history, and preferences storage and synchronization service, guarantees your complete data privacy, as it travels and is stored in an encrypted state that no one (not even a Mozilla administrator) can access, so it can’t be harvested, or compromised in case of a hack or data leak.