2020: June

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.


Summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere and fortuitously (or not if extra care is not taken) lockdown measures have eased, to enable some respite from being indoors for so long.

But that newfound freedom comes at a risk, right? Risk assessment is something that we in the digital economy and specifically in the domains of digital identity and personal data agency, apply to these matters external to us.

And new to many in our families and our wider network of friends and contacts, is how risk was consciously or subconsciously evaluated for each outing as lockdown restrictions have eased.  Personally I've been fascinated to observe how different people react, faced with making such evaluations.  We have all seen the spectrum - from complete denial that there is even a problem or 'since I don't know anyone who has COVID, social distancing doesn't apply to me' right through the continuum to not venturing out at all as seniors in particular, understandably needing to be risk averse. Of course there is the constant percentage who say the government at one or any level is to blame whatever that circumstance - that we can go out, that we can't go out, that we can't do what we used to do and when we want to do it, that the government is being too soft, too hash, too soon, too late and so on.  The outpouring of emotion over the treatment of George Floyd and the resulting #BlackLivesMatter movement was an example of where, if a personal risk assessment was undertaken before venturing out to join the crowds, the risk of catching or spreading the virus was weighed against the need to express that quite understandable strength of feeling. 

Some of that emotion has renewed calls for more diversity and inclusion in this industry. It was a welcomed and growing theme before recent events and a theme that Kantara wants to help that project in Women in Identity and is still seeking sponsorship to help them. If you are reading this and your corporate social responsibility budget is looking to do good in this industry, then look no further - Contact Us or contact Women in IDentity.  However, recent events have given it greater impetus. Kantara, like most associations in our industry and reflecting the industry itself is indeed well under-represented in this regard. I've just finished reading Women in Identity's June Newsletter and I commend the blogs in it to to everyone.  They're right. As an industry we simply have to do better - Kantara included.

As anticipated last month, Kantara's Information Sharing Interoperability Working Group did indeed release the Blinding Identity Taxonomy Report joining the Report on the Design Goals for a Healthcare Identity Environment Architecture as the second of the two published Reports so far this year.  During June I've been privileged to be invited onto ONC's FAST Identity Solutions SME panel to help assess the potential future digital identity architecture approaches for citizen-facing US Healthcare. The combination of Kantara's cohort of SMEs together with standards and best practice highly applicable to Healthcare sees the organization's engagement in the Healthcare sector increase by the month. It's not just uni-directional either. It was great to see an ONC rep attend a Kantara Healthcare Identity Assurance work group call this month.  This reflects a trend of increased US federal agency interest in Kantara's global activities of late. 

Meanwhile the larger Identity Assurance work group that is the steward for Kantara's Identity Assurance program, has completed the Service Assessment Criteria for NIST 800-63 C Federation and Assertions and is now embarking on all level 3 criteria - 800-63-3 IAL3, AAL3 and FAL3 - with grateful thanks to ID.me for its sponsorship of the unenviable editing task. That it has completed this work, while also submitting comments to the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework Credentials (Relationships and Attributes) component bears testament to just how hard these volunteers work, to selflessly support the development and maturing of the global ecosystem. 

Selfless volunteered hard work is not just restricted to the IAWG but stretches across all of Kantara's Groups. In some cases efforts are spread across years and is heavily front-loaded, so much so that we often forget to celebrate the result much later in time. One of those cases involves UMAtarian Tim Reiniger and his efforts to help lawmakers in the Commonwealth of Virginia to see the necessity to tweak the Digital Identity law such that it better covers the range of ecosystem actors such as Trust Framework operators. That work began in 2018 and finished yesterday July 1st, when it came into force in State law. Thank you Tim!      

Kantara Europe, together with its H2020 NGI-Trust partners, completed its short list selection of new proposals seeking grant funding in the third and final call of NGI_Trust. At this time of year, consortia form for grants in 2021 and Kantara is blessed with multiple offers to join a consortium bidding. Unfortunately we could not resource all requests coming to us, but we remain hopeful that all the proposals we were invited to consider, find success. 

In technically challenging circumstances, the Secure Technology Alliance (STA) hosted the 3rd of its 4 Webinars on the Privacy and Trust aspects of a future mDL ecosystem on June 25th, led by Kantara's President Matt Thompson, supported by members John Wunderlich reviewing the mDL standard ISO 18013-5 through a privacy lens and Exponent's Christopher Williams looking at Trust-related aspects in the transaction communication flow.  Despite the challenges our folks performed brilliantly. Thank you! 

While on the subject of webinars, Kantara's own Summer Webinar series is taking shape with the first Webinar announced for July 15th - what does it take to be approved as NIST 800-63-3 conformant? This has only been open for registration a few days and the quality and quantity of registrants is truly humbling. Stay tuned for other sessions to be announced in coming weeks. Interested to be involved? Please Contact Us.

June saw us welcome new corporate member Human Colossus Foundation from Switzerland, new Individual Contributor member Mark King from the UK. Providing your financial support allows Kantara to further its mission and optimize benefits back to you. 

June also saw renewals from Organization members Digital Transformation Agency Australian Government, United States Postal Service (USPS) US federal government executive branch, Australian/Belgian personal data specialist Meeco, and the UK personal data software innovator, KnowNow Information. and Individual Contributor member Barry Hieb. Thank you for everything you do to support Kantara!  


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 and myself are only too willing to assist.  Contact them here.

Events: See them all here!