Introducing Persona, Mozilla's New Identity System
Article by George Norman
On 01 Mar 2012
No, not Personas, the themes you can use to customize the way the Firefox browser looks. Mozilla already decided that because the term Personas is too confusing for a lot of new users and because tests showed that new users are more likely to use Personas when called by a different name, it is going to rename it and use the confusing term for another project. “Persona” is a good name, but is probably better suited for a different product in the future, said Mozilla.

Well, it seems that a better use for the term Persona has been found. Persona is now the new name of Mozilla’s new web-scale identity system which was previously known as BrowserID (the term referred to the technology and the Mozilla service that implements it). What is Persona and what does it do? As Mozilla explained, it is a collection of components and experiences for all the users who want to manage their online identity in accordance with Mozilla’s values of user control, safety, and convenience.


“The Persona name resonates with the idea of personhood as well as online identity as a facet of our lives, and therefore strongly tied to user identity,” explained the Mozilla Identity Team. “We’re very excited about this new name and the new features our identity system will offer. Some of the things we’re planning: an identity dashboard, user data interconnect features, and more.”

Since the term Personas has been used for years to refer to the themes you can use to customize Firefox, there may be a bit of confusion among users while the transition is made to Persona, the new web-scale identity system. The short-term discomfort that may arise from the change is nothing compared to the long-term value of the Persona name – that’s Mozilla’s opinion on the matter.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Persona, BrowserID
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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