The MIT-KIT Consortium seeks to address the various technological issues relating to the emerging personal data ecosystem.

Although the MIT-KIT originated from the MIT Kerberos Consortium that was established at MIT in 2007, the worldwide community of Kerberos developers originated from the early days of Kerberos within MIT's Project Athena.

Kerberos, originally developed for MIT's Project Athena, has grown to become the most widely deployed system for authentication and authorization in modern computer networks. Kerberos is currently shipped with all major computer operating systems and is uniquely positioned as a universal solution to the distributed authentication and authorization problem of permitting universal "single sign-on" within and between federated enterprises and peer-to-peer communities.

The MIT Kerberos Consortium was established in 2007 to provide a mechanism by which the numerous organizations that have adopted Kerberos in the last two decades may participate in the continuation of what was previously funded as an internal MIT project. By opening participation in the ongoing Kerberos effort, it is therefore possible to expand the scope of the work currently performed to encompass numerous important improvements in the Kerberos system, and to engage in much needed evangelism among potential adopters.

The Kerberos protocol itself was designed based on the basic Needham-Schroder protocol from 1978 for symmetric key exchange, and was first reported in a 1988 Usenix conference paper.