2021: April

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.


Welcome to May's Director's Corner! It's the Early May Bank Holiday this Monday in the UK though I suspect that the ED's day will be much like any other regular Monday (wink). The activity in a global organization never stops and this Monday is no exception.  

I want to start this month's Director's Corner with a brief update on the status of the ED search. Following the reach-out to Members, and then advertising the role on LinkedIn in late March, the Board received over 40 applications. In the past couple of weeks this total pool was reduced to a shortlist of five that the Board is currently interviewing. I am pleased to say that all of these candidates are more than capable of doing the job and that the process has brought about some interesting structural alternatives for the Board's consideration. The Board's job will be anything but easy when it makes its final selection during May. An announcement will be made as soon as it can be. The details of the handover from me will be announced in the months that follow.     

We were thrilled to welcome LexisNexis to our membership ranks in April. They join Experian and Neustar as members from that sector of the ecosystem. Thank you! Many of you will have seen the tweet, and LinkedIn post, regarding the following members renewing in April: 2Keys, Experian, Internet2, Verizon and individual contributor Mark King. Thank you one and all for demonstrating your support of Kantara's ethics and ethos and the activities that underpin our mission to grow and fulfil the market for the trustworthy use of identity and personal data in pursuit of our vision to see the equitable and transparent exchange of identity and personal data for mutual value. 

In last month's blog I mentioned that we ran a virtual booth at the ONC Annual meeting at the end of March. We have the materials prepared by Identos, Patient Centric Solutions, Airside, ForgeRock and the FIRE WG on the website now. Check them out! 

April saw more event planning activity in Kantara than we have seen in the past 12 months combined. We finalised the logistics for the international panel for Think Digital Identity for Government in May featuring our Government members GSA, DTA who join the Government of Sweden. This will be a great honor and pleasure for me to moderate. Another May scheduled webinar with industry friends and Kantara Europe represented will be the NGI Forum where we'll be discussing some pretty heavy policy conundrums. April was simply packed with forward planning for future events too. Kantara's pre-conference activities to curtain-raise EIC'21 in Munich in September were wrestled into shape led by Thorsten Niebuhr of Wedacon, Kantara's mainland Europe Director member and supported by Europe based members Hindle Consulting, Vitor Jesus, Open Consent Group, Human Colossus Foundation, Linaltec, Nixu, Seadot, ForgeRock with Andrew Hughes Kantara Leadership Council Chair and Ruth Puente as Staff support. Each of these members organizations have leveraged Kantara to tell their story. Next up will be the Kantara update session that curtain-raises Identiverse in June. If your member organization wants to have some of Kantara's virtual stage time at Identiverse, please Contact us. Identiverse has several panels and individual presentations featuring Kantara members ID.me, Sal D'Agostino, John Wunderlich and others covering the mDL panel convened by Kanatara, the CARIN Alliance Panel to mention but two. 

While speaking of members, the Department of Internal Affairs New Zealand Government published its new standards suite. Understating and flying under the radar as is so often the case with NZ, we actually think this set of standards is well thought out and is worthy of all the acknowledgment and recognition it is due.

April also saw Kantara featured in the inaugural International Identity Management Day on April 13th and the Internet Identity Workshop 32 April 20-22. Thank you Identos for the demo of your UMA deployment in healthcare in Canada and to Eve and George Fletcher for their reprise of the UMA 101 session. While on the subject of UMA, and as those of you who participate in the UMA calls already know, there's a major implementation of UMA about to unfold in Financial Services in the UK. There's much more to share regarding this in coming weeks and months, but you will get a sense of it by the addition of the new menu item on the Resources section of the website

Last, but perhaps not least, if you follow me, or Ubisecure or Charly Harry Smith from the Oxford Internet Institute on Twitter, you may have seen the Tweet exchange a couple of months back, and our subsequent podcast-come-fireside chat, where we debated, amongst other things, whether digital identity was becoming commoditised or ubiquitous and subject to context, and whether that was good or bad. I've long held the view that consumers simply want to get to the resource or entitlement and that their digital identity should not cause needless friction in the process. Of course digital identity is critically important, and we all expect those that manage and store our identifiers, credentials and attributes to do so securely and with privacy and personal agency as foundational. While different vendors do this with variable quality and contextual friction, is it so terrible that some vendors prefer not to slam your digital identity in your face to re-identify you every time you begin a transaction thus making it ubiquitous as some in our industry have concerns over? I don't think so. That was the substance of the often humorous debate Charly and I were having on a matter that may be the subject of debate for years to come.    

Beyond events, Kantara's Groups have been hard at work. The PImDL Discussion Group's Privacy and Identity Report to support ISO compliant mDL implementations is ready for Group vote this month and, if successful, should be published before the end of the month. The FIRE WG has been planning a grant-funding submission to propose to Kantara's Educational Foundation, while the Identity Assurance Work Group continues juggling its full slate of consultation submissions to the UK Government's draft Trust Framework on the one hand while undertaking review and maintenance of Kantara's own document sets for its Trust Framework on the other. There is a strong likelihood that Kantara will respond to the RFI just released by the US Department of Homeland Security to assist subsequent planned new rule making for Real ID (upon which driver’s licence and mDL issuance is based) by the due date of June 18 by pooling our 63-3 expertise with our mDL expertise.

We had several other important announcements in the hopper for April but, due to circumstances beyond our control, we will have to hold these over until we can talk about them. If you are not a member, and don't receive our direct emails, sign up to receive KantaraNews or keep an eye on @KantaraNews on Twitter as well as Kantara on LinkedIn where we try to get news shared as it breaks.  

As May heralds a 'coming out from lockdown' month for many of us, please spare a thought for folks in India, Brazil, Chile, South Africa and elsewhere in the world where a second or third wave of the pandemic is set to create further misery with life ending consequences for loved ones. Kantara's community extends to these countries too and our collective heart goes out to them and their families.   

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, Board Secretariat Ken 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!