2016: July

Greetings folks

This is the running update from the Executive Director. Have questions or comments? Suggest some added information or edits? Contact the ED colin@kantarainitiative.org


As I write this in early August, summer lingers in the northern hemisphere.  And as folks start to return to work in earnest, the email in-box and the calendar is filling up. Whether it's skiing in the southern regions or bathing at the beach in the north, I do hope you are getting some work-life balance. We don't get so much of that here in Kantara, but we try..(smile).

We have used the quieter pace of summer to review various aspects of the organization, and in particular the value proposition to our members. Members are the life-blood of the organization because without them, we don't have the funds to support the platform and to offer our services to the community such as the ID Assurance Program.

The EU Referendum in the UK at the end of June brought a surprising result, and as a consequence, Kantara has been looking across the EU Member States to determine how to optimise its position in relation to the location of its members, and has engaged some members  in that process. We expect to announce an update on our plans later this year.

While some Working Groups have taken a breather over the summer, others have been pushing hard to get their deliverables nailed.  It was great to see the Consent and Information Sharing Work Group announce the v0.8 draft Consent Receipt Recommendation approved by the WG to allow implementations to proceed late August and through September at Digital Catapult in London, MyData in Helsinki and expected also on a trial site at Kantara.     

Summer also gives folks a chance to push forward with new ideas and innovations that need a platform to further develop. Every week in July has seen a new proposal presented to Kantara for a Work or Discussion Group, which portends for a very exciting future. What is so great about these proposals is the way they relate nicely to the existing work underway and have a service component outcome for the benefit of Kantara and the wider community.    

We received a positive response to our call for volunteers to help Kantara drive its mission forward, and it's my pleasure to inform you that we have retained an intern for the remainder of the year and partly into next.  Eric Pridgen is a senior, Mathematics major at Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and also undertakes research experience at Rutgers University in New Jersey. In due course some of you may encounter him in Working Group and Discussion Groups where you are active.  

Last call for Signing the pledge to further develop the notion of an association for digital identity professionals! The pledge page closes on August 31st. Be sure to be signed up here!, in order to be part of the next phase of development.

Onwards and upwards!



Around the Houses:


  • Nothing announceable, but progress is being made (albeit slower over summer) and we hope to share more with you later.  
  • Meanwhile take a summary look at our Liaisons here along with our other relationships of various forms memorialized here.  The most recent is the Letter of Intent with DIACC (the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada) which offers great opportunities for future collaboration.

New Activities:

  • User Submitted Terms, a sub-group of the Consent and Information Sharing WG is gaining significant interest from the personal data and privacy. Take a look, here. Many thanks to Mary Hodder for her leadership skills here and on completing her successful Chair rotation on the CIS WG. 
  • An RFP will be released shortly for a tidy-up of some aspects of the Service Assessment Criteria, a critical document in the ID Assurance Program.  If this is of interest to you, keep an eye on the website.

New Members: Kantara welcomes Ian Glazer and Patrick Essien as new members. Thank you Ian and Patrick! 


  • I do hope you found the summer newsletter sent to you recently, a useful read. We certainly welcome your feedback at staff@kantarainitiative.org . 
  • We have a new portable banner which will start appearing at events we support. Its first outing will be at the MyData conference in Helsinki at the end of August. At this show, attendees will see a demonstration of the Consent Receipt in action. Stay tuned on social media!

Program, Work Group and Discussion Group Updates:

  • ID Pro: Good progress has been made over the month on the next phase of establishing an association for digital Identity Professionals. The pledge page closes soon! Those 300 or so folks that have signed by August 31st will be surveyed for their views on a range of basic founding principles needed to direct the way forward, and later invited onto a Discussion Group to review the survey results and plan the next activities.  
  • KIPI R&D Funding: July and early August has seen a further two whitepapers 'encouraged' by the funders to be developed into Phase 1 Project Initiation Documents for review. Great news! Congratulations to Cirrus Identity and Exponent! We wish you all the best in getting your PIDs accepted.  Keep those proposals coming folks!
  • OTTO WG:  The OTTO WG is generating considerable interest from other federations, in particular Higher Ed: OTTO is developing the APIs a "registration authority" would use to publish and manage federations. It is defining four endpoints: /federations, /federation_entity, /organization, and /schema Right now federation operators create their own software to manage the workflow for organizations joining the federation, and registering entities (like SAML IDPs and SPs). OTTO provide standard APIs for this, and would leverage JSON-LD to prevent duplication of data (as happens today with inter-federation). OTTO is also leveraging a JSON query syntax called JSPath to enable complex searches of the federation or inter-federation data which is more powerful than MDQ (more like ldap search filters, while MDQ is like a dictionary lookup). More info: https://github.com/KantaraInitiative/wg-otto


  • You can find the events we hope to see you at here on the events page on the website. MyData is fast approaching. Kantara members get a special discount offer on conference registration. Hurry!