There are lots of organizations who already know about me - my bank, my insurance company, my health insurer. They all provide me with my own portal where I can manage my account. This allows me instant access and it reduces their cost of servicing me as a customer. Below are some examples:
My Banking Portal provided by CitiBank (right click on the image for more detail)
My Insurance Company Portal provided by Geico right click on the image for more detail)
My Car Portal provided by Subaru (right click on the image for more detail)
I even found this one the other day, a vestige of my work at Norwich Union where we were experimenting with a single point of access for a customer - to not only their personal history, but also to the specific history of the car. I had a GPS tracking device installed in my car that reported back all of my journey information at 1 second intervals.
The live demo is MyAviva Customer Portal is still available.
Despire the convenience of being able to interact with these accounts online, there is still an administrative effort. A change of mailing address would mean making at least four updates. Wouldn't it be easy if I could just make that change one time in one place?
Doesn't a federation of this information make sense? Where I make the change at any one of these portals and the others receive a notification of this change and update their own records accordingly. Obviously this presents some fairly significant problems, particularly if someone gains access to just one of my portals, they could make changes across all of my accounts.
The operational model discusses the practical implementation in more detail.