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Anonymity makes for great appeal on the Internet, but it's pretty much a hindrance to one-to-one marketing.

Electronic security company VeriSign thinks it has a solution that consumers and marketers will like.

Several Web technology companies and Web sites plan to support a new version of VeriSign's Digital ID that guarantees the identity of an Internet user.

Netscape Communications Corp.'s In-Box Direct, American Credit Indemnity, CoolOffers, Four11, Internet Shopping Net-work, Motley Fool, New Media, Switchboard, and Virtual Vineyards will use Digital IDs.

Accrue Software, Affinicast, Andromedia, Broadvision, Click-Over, Internet Profiles Corp., Netcount, net.Genesis, NetGrav-ity, StarPoint and Vignette will adapt their software to process data from Digital IDs.


Consumers who sign up for a Digital ID save the inconvenience of remembering different log-in passwords at every site.

Sites will be able to customize content and ads based on information in the IDs, such as country, ZIP code, age and gender.

Yankee Group analyst Dan Amdur said VeriSign has the right idea, though it may still be ahead of its time.

"The potential impact [for digital IDs] is fairly large, but the question is, when are we going to get there?" he said. "It's going to be some time before consumers actually use digital IDs."

I/Pro shelved its user registration system, I/Code, last fall.

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