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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.


Writing this having just heard that February has been the wettest on record in the UK, the global impact of extremes continues, be it concerning weather or virus pandemics. 

We saw that Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was cancelled and Kantara's UK Ambassador Andi attending RSA in San Francisco last week wearing another of his various hats, reported the exhibition floor much 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.  

2020 is also set to be defining for Kantara as it doubles down on its mission with a series of strategic partnerships and reinforced alignments that we expect to announce over the course of the year. 

2019, Kantara's 10th anniversary year, was the appropriate point in time to brainstorm ideas with the Board and its sub committee the Assurance Review Board, to set in play a series of activities in 2020 that together cement the foundational role that Kantara assumes in the industry.  I look forward to sharing more with you when there's more to share.

January saw good progress in the other two Kantara branded entities.  In the Kantara Educational Foundation, the Board was strengthened with the arrival of Mary Ellen Condon as an additional Non Executive Director, continuing a role she held at IDESG up until its assets transitioned to Kantara and gives increased continuity with respect to those ex IDESG assets that are in the care of the Foundation. The Foundation was also received its non-profit determination letter from the IRS, a further step towards fulfilling its mission regarding grant-funded and and sponsored education and outreach. In Kantara Initiative Europe, work on evaluating the 2nd call proposals continued unabated through the holiday/New Year period, culminating in a meeting of the consortium partners in Brussels on Friday January 31st, the last day of the month to review the ranking of the marked proposals with European Commission officials. Of course the day was significant in another way as well, being the day that the UK officially withdrew from the European Union to commence the transition period. There was an interesting dynamic at work because the price of Eurostar train tickets were at an unprecedented low, the company clearly thinking that demand would fall away at this crucial time. As a consequence the train was busier than I ever remember it - a bell-weather for the future perhaps - at least I hope so.           

The working groups have been busy also. The FIRE working group's Distributed Identity Assurance 1.0.0 Draft 1 specification has attracted interest, while the Consent and Information Sharing Work Group had its final meetings before being archived this coming week. The new Information Sharing Interoperability Work Group is now underway with a broader scope and much more manageable IPR, to enable more projects to be worked on simultaneously.  The Federation Interoperability Work Group's SAMLv2.0 Deployment Profile for Federation Interoperability completed its 45 day IPR review and public comment and will enter Kantara's formal publication process for its Recommendations and Technical Specifications. Coming up soon is the Health Identity Assurance Work Group's Report on Design Goals for a Healthcare Identity Environment Architecture.  Last but by no means least is the Identity Assurance Work Group's facilitating discussions with NIST representatives regarding the aspects of the SP 800-63-3 Digital Identity Guidelines that have proven challenging for private sector conformance while also preparing comments on the draft Pan Canadian Trust Framework  - this month responding to the Verified login component on its second iteration.  

January is the month that we begin populating the Events calendar with conferences and similar events globally where Kantara has been allocated podium space for its members in good standing.  And applying also to members, if you have been selected to speak at an event, please let us know, so that we can promote it through social media. Please keep returning to the Events page regularly and be sure to get conference discounts with our code.   

New member announcements perfectly exemplify the promise that a New Year and a new decade bring to Kantara. It is with great pleasure that we welcome Microsoft to Kantara as an organization (non Board) member as well as UK based Folio Technologies Limited and Australian based Neocapita Security Consulting Pty. Ltd.  Please also join me in welcoming Individual Contributor Hitoshi Kokumai known to many of you as the vanguard of the Expanded Password System and welcoming back renewing Board member and Individual Contributors Lisa LeVasseur and Mary Hodder. 

Welcoming so many new and returning members in a single month really is the perfect way to to start a happy and prosperous New Year and new decade.

Kantara looks forward to serving you all in your endeavours to lift the ecosystem. 


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! 

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