2020: December

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.


I begin this final Director's Corner of 2020 with 2021 just a few hours away. Many of our members in both hemispheres are taking time out for Holidays, so I hope hope this update finds you safe, well, rested and recharging for what is to be a pivotal 2021 - globally, nationally, locally and individually.  To those active member and non-member volunteers that keep doing the doing, and the Credential Service Providers and Accredited Assessors driving the assurance Trust Framework that is the beating heart of Kantara, my sincere and grateful thanks. 

2021 will certainly be pivotal for Kantara as we wrestle with increased global interest in our capabilities and demand for our services. Our resource pool however remains largely comprised of the same familiar voices that participate on our calls and in emails on our group discussion threads. I encourage everyone to ask what can you do to champion Kantara further within your organization, and what can we do to help you do that successfully? Take our survey here.

Thinking about our resources, it is with sadness that we bid farewell to ForgeRock's Allan Foster and the Internet Society's Robin Wilton from the Board.  Their operational support, evangelism and strategic insight over the last 8+ years will be missed. We also bid farewell to Catherine Schulten from Staff. While between jobs later in 2020, Catherine has, on a modest contract, been helping out primarily with Board and Staff support but also extending into Group support at times. To Catherine, on behalf of the Board, Staff and membership, we wish you the very best for your exciting and enormously challenging new role with Change Healthcare. We will miss your strategic insight, your 'can do' attitude to turn your hand to anything that needed doing and your sense of humor.  But as one door closes, another opens.  We're hiring! If you, or someone you know, is experienced in the things that Kantara operates and supports, please let me know.  

Looking back into December, I want to start with the call for nominations for Directors at Large. For the two positions provided for by current Bylaws, we had four organization nominations - one from Canada, one from Germany and two from the US.  This was a great result; in fact so great, that the Board is proposing to accept all four. But to do so, a minor amendment to the Bylaws is required. And to make that amendment Kantara needs to notify members thirty days prior to it being enacted. Once enacted Kantara will conduct an all-Member Ballot for the slate. Members will see an email with all the details soon.  

Also in December, we welcomed Origo Services Limited from Scotland as members. For several years now Origo has been fascinated with the functionality of the UMA protocol and has been internally working on a Profile of UMA related to the UK Government's Pension Dashboard Programme.  And upon joining, Origo offered its profile to the UMA Working Group for consideration as a contribution and onwards to a Kantara publication, the form of which has not yet been decided. The last couple of UMA calls have been largely dedicated to the first phase of this review by the UMA WG participants.  We understand that the Pensions Dashboard Programme is expected to make considerable progress during 2021, so the contribution proposal is timely.  Thank you Origo!  And while thinking about members, welcome back Accredited Assessor, The The Slandala Company Company - thank you for renewing!

Reflecting on the past year, I'm proud of what Kantara has achieved. 

  • By the numbers we
    • received double the expressions of interest in conformity assessment, assurance and grant of trust mark in our Trust Framework Operations program - both our existing classes of approval and to operate others,
    • doubled our publications,
    • doubled our responses to requests for comment on consultations on digital identity around the world, and
    • slightly increased our Membership; and
  • We launched the Privacy & Identity for mDL Discussion Group which attracts an ever-growing and influential following as the draft Report begins to take shape. Thank you AAMVA, TSA and others for your support there.  

Looking forward to 2021, we have, in the near term, the Directors at Large to seat of course and our fresh new website for review and comment. We also have increasing interest for our Trust Framework mapping and governance capabilities from the public sector largely, from all corners of the world, so we look forward to translating that interest into funded work projects.  Last, but certainly not least, is the Board's priority work areas that President Matt summarized at the AGM on November 30th.  Together with the work areas, comes several quite significant strategic changes - some have been in the oven for a couple of years, others are very recent products of the Board's 2021-2025 strategic review during the mid-year. While different in detail, they are all common in supporting the unique and open Kantara community that you are a part of. Whether it is conformity assessment and assurance at the heart of operating Trust Frameworks agnostic to any scheme or standard, or mapping gaps and deltas between standards, schemes and trust Frameworks or digital identity related RFP support or sponsored publications arising out of working and discussion group collaboration, existing work and new opportunities are designed to blend nicely together in a re-organized and re-energized Kantara.   

New for 2021! Reduce  your already modest membership fee even further by introducing new members! Each existing Individual or Organization level member in good standing that introduces a prospective Organization level member that subsequently pays its member dues before the introducing member's next renewal anniversary, gets 25% of the new member's membership level rebated off the introducing member's membership renewal to a maximum of 100% of the introducing member's membership level.

Happy New Year!  See you on the other side  (wink).

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, Trust Framework Operations & Assurance Director Ruth, Business Development Ambassador Chris and myself, together with the Kantara IT team consisting of Sebastian and Gonzalo led by Armin  are only too willing to assist.  Contact them here.

Events: See them all here!