The Information Card Foundation (ICF) has been affiliated with Identity Commons since ICF's founding in June of 2008. Identity Commons is currently a loose-knit affiliation of different groups and organizations working together to create an identity layer for the Internet. It is perhaps best-known for its semi-annual conference, Internet Identity Workshop (now known as “IIW”), which brings together a wide range of people active in the Internet identity community to forge the protocols, policies, and partnerships necessary to produce an identity layer serving all constituencies: people, for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, and governments.
The current Identity Commons is actually the second generation of an organization originally founded by Owen Davis and Andrew Nelson in 2002. That organization subsequently transformed itself in 2005 into the current Working Group structure in order to foster collaboration between a diverse set of groups that include legally incorporated entities such as the ICF, the OpenID Foundation, and XDI.org, as well as internal Identity Commons Working Groups that are not separate legal entities, such as IIW, OSIS, ID Legal, Project VRM, and Kids Online.
Although Identity Commons has always been a non-profit corporation, the second-generation entity has never raised funds beyond its modest operating expenses (less than $5000 per year). This past summer, interest grew in creating a third generation of Identity Commons that could serve as a much more robust “upside-down umbrella” organization for funding and coordinating work across the entire ecosystem of efforts on Internet identity, data sharing, and relationship management.
Although a formal announcement from OASIS is not expected until next week, the Identity Metasystem Interoperability Version 1.0 specification was approved as an OASIS standard today by a unanimous vote of the OASIS members participating in the vote. According to IMI Technical Committee editor Mike Jones of Microsoft, "This is a wonderful endorsement of the work of the IMC TC. The standard benefitted substantially from the input received during the process. Numerous clarifications were incorporated as a result, while still maintaining compatibility with the earlier Identity Selector Interoperability Profile V1.5 (ISIP 1.5) specification."
Mr. Jones acknowledged this was a broad community effort, spanning many individuals and organizations. Many Information Card Foundation members were involved, and others are currently implementing products and services based on the specification. Said ICF Chairman Paul Trevithick of Azigo, "Reaching the level of an OASIS Standard is a major milestone for the Information Card community. It attests to the maturity of the IMI 1.0 specification. Now ICF can place more emphasis on the other elements necessary for widespread adoption, including reference implementations, best practices, trust frameworks, and market education."