2020: August

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.


As I begin this on the first day of September, it feels like the intensity of August - both temperature as well as emotions running high over events around the world - is easing back.  One thing that did not seem to ease back was the intensity of online webinars. That thought was in my mind yesterday, August 31st, as I readied myself to present Kantara's work to the ONC's Patient Identity and Matching Working Session. With close to 400 attendees at the height of the day there was no pressure! ('yea, right') but I drew some comfort from other Kantara members and supporters presenting as well as publicly shouting-out our efforts.  Grateful thanks to Noreen Whysel and Catherine Schulten from the FIRE WG for helping me prepare the slides and to the HIAWG for its efforts in drafting the written submission due later this week.   

Just in while I type is the UK's government's response to their call for evidence on digital identity from a year ago (if you read last month's Director's Corner one could be forgiven for thinking their ears were burning..(wink)) ...where Kantara submitted these comments.  'Better late than never', it is great to finally see movement on this judging by industry's reaction here to the indication of new or altered legislation and where additionally, the point was made that Security does not feature in the 6 principles to frame digital identity delivery and policy in the UK - those being Privacy, Transparency, Inclusivity, Interoperability, Proportionality and Good Governance - principles which no-one could argue with. But no Security principle?   

Meanwhile in the US, there's industry talk of Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) proposing a bill with a working title 'to establish a governmentwide approach to improving digital identity, and for other purposes'.  I'll keep you posted if I hear more.

The IAWG has a continual slew of similar calls for input on its slate. It works on these around its main role as the steward of the Identity Assurance program and its associated Trust Framework, which has constant maintenance and improvement cycles throughout the year. The current consultation is on the European Union's eIDAS regulation, Implementing Acts and the success or otherwise of the strategy, led by Individual contributor Mark King. Thank you Mark! Globally acknowledged as we are, there is a never ending stream of requests for our input. We need more volunteers to lead work and sponsors to support the effort. If the current global conditions find you with some spare time, please contribute it to Kantara, where, now more than ever, there are more more requests to engage and more work as a result landing on our plate.

Kantara Individual Contributor member, and globally acknowledged privacy expert, John Wunderlich did just that. Juggling his client work, along with a stint temporary stint as Chair of the ISI-WG, John also put his hand up to spin up the much anticipated Kantara mDL Discussion Group. This DG will focus on rounding out the ISO 18013-5 mDL standard's privacy and security recommendations in Annex E - a critically essential success factor to enable the development of the fledgling global mDL ecosystem.  Some of you may have seen and heard John (and Kantara President Matt) speaking on Secure Technology Alliance's Webinar #3 (note that there were some technical issues impacting this session but it is being re-recorded). Our collective hats off to you John Wunderlich. We applaud your quiet resolve and magnanimity. Give John, and the Leadership Council, a few weeks to get the Charter approved and for Staff to build the wiki space and we will let you know when the site is up and the GPA ready for you to acknowledge.   

The IAWG also completed work sponsored by ID.ME to develop Service Assessment Criteria (SAC) at Assurance Level 3 for Identity Assurance (IAL3), Authentication Assurance (AAL3), and Federation Assurance (FAL3) of NIST’s SP 800-63 Revision 3.  These SAC are currently undergoing Public and IPR Review. Thanks to ID.ME for its support in developing this important part of Kantara’s Identity Assurance Framework.           

Kantara Europe was busy as usual coaching existing NGI_Trust projects and, as mentioned last month, working with a large consortium on a new funding bid for 2021. It‘S project name is Demoiselle with a focus on Long Term Security of Systems, Systems of Systems and Organizations & Societies all through policy, process and technology planes.  This is more IoT oriented than Kantara's traditionally known core capabilities but, with IDoT becoming so relevant now and having the global reach to expertise that we do, the consortium sought out Kantara to fill this much needed gap in its enviable line-up of partners.    

I want to round out this month's blog with a hat-tip to the Board. All summer-long it has been undertaking a deep strategic review of Kantara - the organization’s capabilities, its vision and mission, and its role in the global ecosystem. The last review of this kind took place in 2016, the year I took up the post of ED. In the intervening five years, Kantara has changed in nearly every dimension, with the exception of its foundational ethics and ethos which remains as the Founders chartered it back in 2009. 2020, Kantara's 11th year of operation seemed an entirely appropriate year to review and reset. If you have a futurist view of Kantara please let the Board know by emailing directors at kantarainitiative dot org.  It aims to share its initial thoughts on the findings with you all and here on this blog next month.    

Grab the last of the sun in the north or the spring skiing in the south, because the last quarter of 2020 looks set to be something of a game-changer for 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, Chris and myself are only too willing to assist.  Contact them here.

Events: See them all here!