Mozilla today announced that its Persona authentication system will no longer be developed by the organization. Its full-time developers have been reallocated to other projects (including Firefox accounts and Sync), and Persona’s ongoing development has been entrusted to its existing community.

For those who don’t know, Persona is Mozilla’s answer to social networking logins offered by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Developers can implement the service for authentication across smartphones, tablets, and desktop browsers.

Mozilla promises it will continue to host Persona, has no plans to decommission it (at least not in 2014), and will continue to support it:

Specifically, Mozilla staff will continue to resolve critical bugs, service disruptions, and security issues. Moreover, Mozilla’s new network operations center will handle tier 1 incident response for Persona. The center’s robust, human-backed, 24/7 monitoring will further increase Person’s reliability and improve incident response times.

Mozilla says it has stopped funding new feature development for Persona because it received less adoption than the organization hoped it would. Nevertheless, support will continue as Mozilla says it still believes that Persona is a great alternative to passwords.

The company revealed the BrowserID service in February 2012 and then launched a beta of the renamed Persona in September 2012. The company also updated the tool’s privacy policy in February 2013 to emphasize what data is collected (very little), and what isn’t.

In short, for the time being Persona will continue to work as it has to date. If you’re waiting for new features, the community is asking for input via GitHub pull requests, IRC, and the mailing list.

See also – Mozilla: Moving Persona servers outside the US to escape surveillance won’t work, but changing the law will and Mozilla launches Webmaker Badges, linked to Persona, so you can brag about your mad coding skillz

Top Image Credit: Chris Chidsey

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