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Hello everyone 

This is the running update from the Executive Director. Have questions or comments? Suggest some added information or edits? Contact Colin at kantarainitiative dot org.


Keep safe, distanced and hunkered down!

The second sentence of my February blog went "The global impact of extremes continues, be it concerning the weather or virus epidemics".

When I wrote that 4 weeks ago, like most of us I had no idea that the mention of virus epidemics would see us catapulted into a global pandemic the likes of which we have never seen before.  When the history of this event is read by future generations we will be judged on the responsiveness of our leaders, of front-line healthcare professionals and support staff, emergency services, law enforcement, and each and every one of us. We will be judged by our actions set in the context of our nationhood, culture, our attitudes and value systems, the balancing of life and livelihood in the here-and-now present, the aftermath and the future that follows it.  The human values of caring for others that underpin most belief systems, will be judged against the backdrop of politicization of issues and the self-serving nation-state stances that have undermined global collaboration for decades. Even before history is written on this event, we will be rightly judged for our foolishness - appropriate timing perhaps, for a blog written on, of all days, April Fools Day.

What can we do? In my email to members several weeks ago, I talked about how fortunate we are in this industry, that remote working and virtualization is second nature to us. We are confident in working with the tools and with the semi-isolation that comes with home-working - its upsides and downsides.  Please share your knowledge and experience with colleagues, friends, family, neighbors, everyone you know who you think might struggle with this new normal.  IDPro, the digital identity professionals organization that was incubated by Kantara, has a great newsletter this month. Included in it is '10 TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME FROM IDPRO' authored by Marla Hay, Sr. Director, Product Management - Privacy & Data Governance at Salesforce. It is members access only but if you haven't got around to joining IDPro, do it now and access the March newsletter. 

It's all about 'playing it forward, and Kantara itself is doing just that. These are difficult times for organizations of all sizes but especially for new and small ones. While too early to announce here, Kantara is helping out another non-profit with a project they were looking for the right type of sponsorship for, to undertake a project with very humanistic values at its heart, the sponsorship in part paying for the use of Kantara's platform to bring it to life. Things being as they are, Kantara is playing it forward because important as the money is to Kantara, more important is the project.  'Nurture,   


Writing this having just heard that February has been the wettest on record in the UK. 

We saw that Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was cancelled and we heard reports that the exhibition floor at RSA was quieter than in recent years.  Connect:ID in Washington DC March 11-12 is up next in the US and I hope that it will not be unduly affected - both for myself and the many Kantara members participating. I will be supporting the conference organizers by moderating the Wednesday morning Identity track presentations and panel through till lunchtime.  If you are attending, please do use Kantara's booth #210 as a base and convening point.  Not in DC for Connect:ID because you're in Europe? Not to worry. Kantara's Director of Assurance Operations is Conference Chair for Whitehall Media's IDM Europe one day conference at the Steigenberger Airport hotel in Frankfurt, so please make your way there and participate.  While on the subject of Conferences, the members email last week giving away one pass each to Connect:ID and KNOW Identity on a first come first served basis went to Kantara member Easy Dynamics Corporation's Sarah Chu and JJ Harkema.  

Kantara's February started with its normal cadence, with the eGov Work Group call which is the first Monday of the month. It's a small and intimate selection of regulars from Europe and North America which makes for great discussion as topics of culture and approach, news and updates are explored.  

The following week saw me in London attending an OIX UK event on Tuesday. On Wednesday I spent time with new member Folio Technologies exploring how Kantara's networks could support Folio in their goals just as it supports Kantara with membership. I also participated in the Think Digital Identity conference on Thursday. It was a great privilege to riff with Kantara member Meeco's Katryna Dow on the International Identity panel where we speculated how the UK would position itself post-Brexit - being geographically close to Europe but its longstanding cultural ties to west and much further away. This topic continued to be discussed many days after the event and is likely to attract plenty more discussion in the coming months.      

The third week of February saw Assurance Operations Director Ruth and me in Vienna speaking at the TIIME Workshop. This is the European equivalent of the legendary Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) held twice yearly in Mountain View California. We supported eGov Work Group Chair Rainer Horbe and his wife Andrea who are such gracious event hosts. This is the one convening point for Higher Education and industry, coming from all over the world as they do. The conference dinner in the Natural History museum, one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture I have ever seen, is always a highlight. 

The final week of February saw me catching up on Kantara's other activities. Top of that list is the development of the Service Assessment Criteria for NIST 800-63-3C (Federation Assurance Levels) being undertaken in the Identity Assurance Work Group, the editing resource generously sponsored by Kantara member It is members like that support the organization with membership as well as sponsorship of vital work, make Kantara the community that it is, Thank you! Close behind comes the great efforts of the Healthcare Identity Assurance Work Group’s near final draft Report entitled 'Design goals for a Healthcare identity environment architecture'. Consent Receipt topped the February downloads again with 125 downloads, followed by the UMA specifications and the  UMA Business Model.

I emailed selected members that I thought might be interested in opening a Work Group on mDL (Mobile Drivers Licence) - not so much for its driving relationships but for its use as a mobile identification tool. We have been assisting the Secure Technology Alliance (STA) with the development of a white paper which will be released later this month, and given Kantara's reputation, and credibility, in operating Trust Frameworks, the emerging idea is that the time is right to begin drawing on this largely blank canvas that is the mDL ecosystem today. If you are reading this, and have interest to sponsor projects in a possible mDL work group please Contact Us

We welcomed two new North American based members to the Kantara community during February - The Slandala Company, joining Kantara to engage in the Identity Assurance Trust Framework program and Mike Schmidt an individual contributor with special interest in the next phase of development of the Consent Receipt. A big thank you and shout-out to renewing members too - a triumvirate from Europe comprising Seadot AB and SUNET from Sweden, Nixu from the Netherlands as well as Individual Contributors Janelle Allen, John Wunderlich and Stephen Hutchinson. Thank you all!  


Kind regards


Around the Houses:


Program, Work Group and Discussion Group Updates:

  • You can always keep up with the latest news from the Work and Discussion Groups directly on the Leadership Council's Blog. See the list of public groups here.

  • As always, our Specifications, Recommendations and Reports are available for download from our Reports and Recommendations web repository - now with frictionless access.  

  • Not sure where to find things? Membership Bella, Ruth, Armin, Oliver, Chris, Andi and myself are only too willing to assist.  Contact them here.

Events: See them all here!