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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 of 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 this generation will be rightly judged for our foolishness - appropriate timing perhaps, its altruism where that cap fits and its shortcomings - dare I say foolishness where that cap fits - an appropriate word perhaps for a blog written on, of all days, April Fools Day.

What can we all 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, not only for people but also 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 it was 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, Develop, Operate - that's what we do' is Kantara's strapline. We are holding true to our ethics and ethos of low barriers to community participation for the common good of the digital ecosystem and through this project even . This project exemplifies that and more broadly beyond the digital ecosystem.  

For me, the reality of the crisis began to hit home at Connect:ID in Washington DC March 11-12. We never got further than March 11 as the Convention Center management closed us down at the direction of  the DC Health authorities. But fortunately our time at the podium was straight after the opening Keynotes. I hastily replaced the two speakers who withdrew, one each from the UK Government and Mastercard. After taking the opportunity to announce that Idemia's Matt Thompson had taken the Presidency over from ForgeRock's Allan Foster after seven years of service, I curtain-raised the panel next up, with a presentation comparing common law Government digital Identity programs around the world. It Next up was a fantastic public-private sector extended-time panel, comprising representatives from the OMB, GSA, Lexis Nexis, Better Identity Coalition and our own new Board member organization, Idemia. Highly informative with great questions form from the floor, we entertained folks till lunchtime, after which the closure of the conference was announced. There was plenty of traffic to Kantara's booth #210 and , brilliantly supported by member Easy Dynamics Corporation's Sarah Chu to help Kantara DC Ambassador Chris with and we had further collaboration from KIPI R&D Program performer members Exponent and MDAV/ValidIDyWe The next day, we were on stage in Europe too where Kantara's Director of Assurance Operations Ruth Puente, Conference Chaired the Whitehall Media's IDM Europe one day conference at the Steigenberger Airport hotel in Frankfurt Judging by the Twitter fall, this worked out incredibly well wonderfully for all.   We won't have conferences for a while yet, so we were Kantara was both grateful and fortunate to feature in the final two identity conferences for a while to come.  

Talking of R&D, Tallinn Estonia-based Kantara Europe is gearing up promotion of the NGI TRUST 3rd and Final call https://wiki.geant.org/display/NGITrust/3rd+Open+Call+NGI_TRUST which is now open and closes barely a month away on May 4th. Please consider the following; if you have a great idea but not located in the EU, ensure you have an EU based partner to front it for you, even if you are based in the UK); be aware that we expect more focus to be placed on Type 2 and Type 3 proposals that really are capable of mass consumer adoption; and perhaps not surprisingly, current circumstances may engender greater attraction to proposals including use cases applicable to epidemiology.

Meanwhile, the work continues unabated at Kantara, if anything, even busier. The Assurance Review Board has just accredited a new assessor, Slandala, that I mentioned joined last month which is just in time as we have additional service providers preparing for pre-assessment as they seek the coveted Kantara Trust Mark for NIST 800-63-3 at IAL2 and AAL2.  Thanks to ID.me's sponsorship of an editor, development continues on the Service Assessment Criteria for NIST 800-63-3C (Federation Assurance Levels) continues in the Identity Assurance Work Group, alongside our support of Canadian non-profit DIACC on the review-and-comment process of the revised drafts of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework. The ISI-Work Group has its first 3 projects in the starting blocks and attracting global participation, such is the interest in the future shape and form of the Kantara Consent Receipt specification and the emerging draft retro-fit framework underpinning it, so please participate and contribute. UMA is -WGs doubling down on conformance and interop testing while the FIRE-WG   I emailed selected members that I thought might be interested in opening a but join right right now to see Thursday's presentation on its UMA extension work from member Identos.  The FIRE-WG has two interesting papers in play that are receiving good vibes from the Healthcare sector with some context shown here.    

We continue to 'circle the wagons' on exactly what slice of work the notional Work Group on mDL (Mobile Drivers Licence) - not so much for its driving relationships but for might take on, to progress its use as a mobile identification tool. We have been assisting Newly released is 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's mDL White Paper that Kantara members Exponent, Idemia, individual contributor members David Kelts & Ken Dagg and Staff gave time and effort to. The challenges published there are informing our perspective on the work items of the workgroup.  It's quite an art to locate and align Replying Parties requirements with the priorities of vendors, together with Kantara's capabilities, so expect it to take a little while yet. Meanwhile please Contact Us if you have an interest in moving mDL for mobile digital identity forward. 

And that's the thing. In our lifetime there has never been an event so impactful on the world's people than this pandemic. Yet in the break-glass circumstances we find ourselves in, there has never been a time when digital identity and and privacy awareness are more important. I know other member organizations have done similar but this one caught my attention from UK member Folio.ID was posted on LinkedIn a few days ago.  Members, Kantara can amplify your posts, but only if you make it aware. The best way to do that is tag your posts on Social with @KantaraNews or equivalent so we pick it up.

New members continue to steadily arrive at our community door.  This month we welcome individual contributor Kate Downing and welcome back Qroot Consulting from the Netherlands together with individual contributor David Kelts. Thank you all!  

Kantara's staff are spread across the world - Italy, Spain, the UK, Argentina and the US.  We are all in varied forms of lockdown but we remain safe, well and serving you every day. Please do the same stay safe and well too, so that we can continue to help deliver the great work that you do.

Whether in good times and in bad times, we face our challenges together and we work through them together. This very difficult time is no different. But the tide will eventually turn and Kantara's global community will be the stronger and wiser and the people it serves will emerge to embrace the good times that lie in the far distanceseem distant right now. But one day at a time the good times get closer.

Onwards!

Kind regards

Colin

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