Munich, Germany -- Information Cards and ICF members were very active in the European Identity Conference (EIC) in Munich this past week. To begin with, ICF board member Kim Cameron accepted the European Identity Award for “Best Innovation” on behalf of Microsoft for its U-Prove minimal disclosure technology. The award was shared with IBM for its similar Idemix technology. Both solutions were lauded by EIC host Kuppinger Cole as pioneering efforts in enhancing online privacy and security.
Mr. Cameron also gave a keynote address, “Federated Directory meets Minimal Disclosure: Mortal Enemies or Soul Mates?” in which he showed how cloud computing, social networks, and enterprise collaboration demand federation of directory information across trust boundaries to create a distributed information fabric. Mr. Cameron then asserted that, by using technologies like U-Prove, these federations can be built to be consistent with the requirements of minimal disclosure.
Last December ICF Executive Director Drummond Reed spent a day in Victoria, B.C. with the identity management team in the Office of the CIO for the Province of British Columbia, including Ian Bailey, the Executive Director of Architecture and Standards, Charmaine Lowe, Director of Information Standards, and Patricia Wiebe, Senior Identity Architect. The following interview is based on many of the topics they discussed.
Q: Let’s start with the big picture: when did your office first begin to focus on identity management?
A: Back in 1996 we determined that identity management was going to be key to developing a shared services approach for the delivery of IM/IT services for government and started a program to develop a corporate identity management Technology was a real barrier for us at that point, but with the release of Windows Active Directory in 2000 we were able to consolidate most of our directories into a single centralized domain for government workers. Also at that time we were building our first version of an authentication service to support government’s interactions with businesses and citizens, and in 2002 we started our BCeID identity provider service. We learned a lot from those first efforts, particularly that directory centric solutions were not going to work in the long term.
Q: So you’ve been at this a long time. Overall, what are the goals of your IdM program, i.e., what’s your vision for what IdM can do for the BC government and the people of the province?
Bethesda, MD, USA – The first iTrust Forum, held today at the National Institute of Health (NIH) headquarters in Bethesda, MD, featured a four-part session about the U.S. government’s Open Identity for Open Government Initiative. NIH is leading government adoption of this initiative through the NIH Federated Identity Service. NIH demonstrated the first production use of open identity technologies at the iTrust Forum by showing how the Federated Identity Service now accepts logins from several of the ten OpenID and Information Card identity providers who have announced participation in the initiative.
In a separate demonstration, Don Schmidt of Microsoft showed a prototype “multi-protocol selector” – software that will enable users to do both OpenID and Information Card registration/login to websites through one simple, safe, visual interface. This will make authentication at many different websites dramatically simpler for users while at the same time providing strong protection against the main source of phishing attacks.
ICF Executive Director Drummond Reed and OpenID Foundation Executive Director Don Thibeau presented the Open Identity Framework (OIF), a new open trust framework model being developed jointly by the ICF and OIDF to solve the problem of how third-party portable identity credentials such as OpenID and Information Cards can be trusted in very large deployments, such as across the entire U.S. population and all U.S. government websites.
Information Card Foundation member Acxiom® Corporation (NASDAQ: ACXM), a global leader in interactive marketing and risk mitigation services, announced a beta program for the Acxiom Identity Card. This program uses Information Card technology to enable retail merchants, corporations, financial institutions and other organizations to offer a privately branded identity card to their customers.
"Businesses should benefit with a decrease in internal consumer authentication and fraud detection costs if they encourage their customers to adopt a digital identity card," says Tim Christin, senior vice president of Acxiom's risk mitigation division. "And in turn, their customers should benefit by the streamlined online experience with a single sign-on system, the elimination of user names and passwords, and the reduced risk of identity fraud."
A digital identity card allows consumers to establish new online accounts and log in to existing accounts with a unique, encrypted identity that is stored on the consumer's personal computer. This is the digital equivalent of a privately branded identity card that is typically carried in a person's wallet.