2021: March

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 the April 2021 Director's Corner!  

Like many of us, I'm pleased to beckon in the new month, tho' March had plenty to offer.

For me, it was a watershed month as I notified staff and members, in advance of it going public, of my intention to step back from leading Kantara in a few months time.  (Apply here!).  I'm at that time of life where attention is needed on personal finance, assets and property ... and life really.  While I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of surmounting hurdles as they arose, Kantara has been all consuming.  But life balance is important too, and mine is overdue for a reset.  Also overdue is my need to switch my residency back to my home country of New Zealand for at least three years.  So the time feels right to hit the reset button.  Rather than having to work much of the night in New Zealand to operate in Kantara's primary time zones, it is time to to take a step back.  It's only a step back (semi-retirement) ... it is not retirement!  I will remain in and around Kantara, as well as around the industry, for quite a while yet.  My involvement, however, will be at a more relaxed tempo than the deadline driven cadence that comes with leading a global community of three Kantara branded organizations.   

My impending move wasn't Kantara's only news for March.  Far from it. 

Joining Kantara in March were new members Zenia Vasquez, Dedra Chamberlin, Manvendra Kumar and Roger Quint, together with renewing members Hindle Consulting and John Wunderlich.  Thank you all!  And for renewing members it's great to have your continued support!  

The new Board including, as I announced last month, Directors at Large 2keys, Airside, Easy Dynamics and Wedacon, has started to work in earnest.  Board members Experian, Airside and Wedacon, led by LC Board representative Andrew Hughes, have met several times to begin framing what the future might look like for Kantara’s Work and Discussion Groups.  The results of their work will be put to the Membership for consideration later in this year.  While they have worked on this, president Matt and myself have been working on the ED succession plan.  The results of our our efforts members received before it went public.  If you have a potential candidate for the ED job, please follow the instructions in the job advertisement to submit them.

March was book-ended with virtual events that featured Kantara.

The FinTechTalents Identity conference aired on March 17th.  But, of course, the preparation and pre-record activity started as the month opened.  I had the pleasure of moderating a panel with Dai Banerji representing Women in Identity, our friend and fellow mDL journeyer Gail Hodges from the Future Identity Council, Andrew Black from Natwest Bank, and David Pollington from the GSMA.  We developed discussion themes around the topic of ‘Privacy Enhancing, Consent Based Digital Identity'.  Our discussion and debate focused on three points:

  • should the financial service sector embrace a decentralised ID mode;
  • how we can ensure that we build Digital Identity that enhances privacy and consent as well as granting users control over how their personal credentials are shared; and
  • whether users are actually ready to take control of their digital identity.

March 29-30 saw Kantara undertake something very different.  We were honored to be asked to have a virtual booth in the virtual exhibit hall of the virtual ONC Annual meeting.  This was a significant undertaking that we accomplished in a short time period.  Kantara is indebted to members Identos, Patient Centric Solutions, Airside, ForgeRock, Tom Jones and Dr Tom Sullivan as well as non member participant Jim Kragh who prepared new videos, modified existing presentations, project managed and attended the booth over the two days.  As I tweeted at the time, it was a surreal experience and, though quieter than organizers and participants alike had hoped, we were, nonetheless, delighted to receive interest and a qualified prospect for conformance to Kantara's 63-3 Class of Approval under our Identity Assurance conformity assessment and certification scheme.  We will endeavour to republish the material on the website soon.  

April's schedule of events is a lighter lift for Kantara with its support of the inaugural International Identity Management Day on April 13th and the Internet Identity Workshop 32 April 20-22 with VRM day curtain-raising on April 19.  Several members are presenting sessions at IIW 32.  However, I am only aware of Identos's details.  They will be showcasing their work in the HealthCare space in Canada, which has received significant press coverage recently, during the Demo hour.  As a reminder, if you want Kantara to amplify your activities, you have to inform it of those activities!  Finally, we have Think Digital Identity of Government UK May 21 where Kantara is participating in two panels as well as supporting the event through partnership.    

Beyond events, Kantara expects to make several important announcements in April arising from its exciting collaboration with, and between, members in different parts of the world.  If you are not a member, and don't have access to news before it breaks, sign up to receive KantaraNews and follow @KantaraNews on Twitter as well as Kantara on LinkedIn.  

As I sign off this month's post on Good Friday in the Christian calendar, I feel excited as I have just, in a different context for Kantara and another two members, finished an exciting (potentially dial-moving!) call regarding a new project.

Stay safe, get vaccinated if you can, and keep happy!  

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!