Understanding Information Cards

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

An Information Card is a way of securely identifying yourself to a website or online service. Like the cards in your wallet, cards that you use with CardSpace 2.0 present information about you to a site. These cards enable you to do things that require that your identity first be established securely. For example, you can select a card to make a purchase or access special services or information on a protected portion of a site.

You obtain Information Cards from the websites of organizations, such as banks, online retailers, health care providers, or government agencies, that offer to issue you a card. Depending on the purpose of a particular issued card, you can use it to present information about who you are—as far as the organization that issued it knows—to other organizations on the Web. For example, some sites might accept cards that are issued by their partner sites.

To install an Information Card, you click a link on the site for the organization that issues you the card. You can download the card as a file and save it to your computer, or you can open the card directly from the site. CardSpace 2.0 will prompt you before it saves the card.