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Egg has downplayed reports that it will adopt Microsoft's Passport authentication technology to grant customers access to their accounts.

The online bank has distanced itself from comments by its chief information officer, Dana Cuffe, reported by Silicon.com, which implied the bank would be an early adopter of Passport technology in the financial services market.

In a statement, Egg said it was investigating the "possibilities presented by .NET and MS Passport" for delivering Web-based services but added it was "fully aware of its [Passport's] current limitations".

Egg will defer any Passport-based implementations until it is satisfied these limitations are resolved. It has "no intention to remove or replace our Entrust security solution at this point in time" (our emphasis).

A spokesman for Egg said there was no linkage between the bank's evaluation of Microsoft's technology and its use of Entrust GetAccess authentication technology.

How Egg might use Passport remains unclear and our requests to speak to someone technical on the matter were politely but firmly rebuffed.

The bank is an enthusiastic supporter of Windows XP and says it will use the Remote Assistance tool of Windows XP Messenger for customer service. ®

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