Identity Futures Nov 26 08 Conf Call

From IdCommons
  • Call on Wednesday November 26th at 9AM Pacific
    • 1 (906) 481-2100 - Access Code 942276


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Mini-Business Plan for this effort.

  • Why - what is the business reason for this?
  • Who - who would this be pitched to?
  • What - would we pitch to them?


  • Bob Blakley
  • John Kelly
  • Kaliya Hamlin
  • Tom Brown
  • Nick Givotovsky
  • Jeff Stollman

Notes: Background Discussion

John was intrigued by the Identity & Relationship management thrust at IIW but hasn't got all the context yet.

Issues of pseudonyms, security of identity information, ownership of identity information are still unsolved

Nick thinks policy issues get pushed to the back burner by technologists; we're building technologies which can (or are intended to) accomodate a wide range of policy environments. There's a desire to simplify technology to ease development & deployment. When the simplification is going on is the point at which the addition of new policy-based requirements are least welcome.

But rejecting these requirements leads to unintended consequences. The IIW community is uncharacteristically aware of the policy issues - but how to apply this expertise productively to actual development projects remains a challenge.

Lots of people are getting uncomfortable with the patchwork of state, national, and international privacy regulations and legislation - this complicates the environment in which businesses operate and it also paralyzes efforts to move forward with making better policy. Business execs are interested in what they can do to avoid lawsuits (and also new burdensome regulations).

The HIPAA Privacy regulation had a motivation everyone agreed with, but the actual rule wasn't based on proven good practice, and as a result the rule has proven to be both burdensome and ineffective in implementation. It would be good to be able to make better rules in the future.

Parallel organizations: Berkman Center sits at the intersection of policy and law.

Notes: Business Plan


Ferret out both unintended consequences and undiscovered opportunities inherent in identity technologies in order to provide feedback to developers to improve the offerings. Provide a source of input into policymakers' and senior technology executives' perspectives on impact of these technologies. A lot of people in the identity community have painted their own visions of the future, but there's no institution which serves as the focal point for agreeing on the landscape of potential futures. An organization could potentially provide better focus and alignment.


The audience will include policymakers, lawyers, and business executives as well as technologists. Participants will include members of the current identity community as well as people with more legal, policy, and business expertise.

Potential funders:

  • Media companies (makers, payers, delivery conduits) are potential audiences: P&G, Ad agencies.
  • Healthcare organizations.
  • State & Federal policy authorities.
  • Trade associations (DMA, others)
  • Trade unions.


An "open source identity futures think tank" tasked to develop standards & best practices for how to do identity things in a way which minimizes "collateral damage"; this can serve as preemptive self-regulation to make imposition of government regulations unecessary.

The organization's deliverables would be made freely available to the public.

One possible deliverable would be to use scenario-based planning as a methodology (GBM and Northeast Consulting both have methodologies for this) to generate alternate planning futures. Harriet Pearson drove a scenario-based planning exercise for privacy at IBM; a .PDF presentation describing the results can be found here. Scenario-based planning exercises usually involve 30 or so involved experts, as well as outside experts, and a content team of 5 or more people working for 2 calendar months doing interviews, writing end-state descriptions for four outcomes, and documenting controlling assumptions and consequences, and writing about 100 future news stories to support the scenarios.

There was discussion of offering private interpretation sessions or other valuable services based on the public deliverables to funding sponsors.

Next Steps

  • Nick & John to meet soon.
  • A concrete proposal needs to be developed.
  • A list of organizations potentially interested in sponsorship needs to be developed.
  • Do we need to recruit selected individuals to join the planning effort?
  • Think about the elements of a story which we might use to pitch potential sponsors on the effort.
  • Next call will be Tue. 16 Dec at 9am PST.