Consolidation Not Fragmentation, at Last!

Consolidation Not Fragmentation, at Last!

It’s hard to believe a month has gone by since the identerati converged on the Hynes Convention Center in Boston and emerged four days later as the ‘Identiversed’. I’m still emailing follow-ups, and receiving them too, as many folks took time out to celebrate the 4th of July the week following the event.

These big identity gatherings are important for Kantara, both as a global industry consortium and also for our members. It gives us a chance to showcase our latest work, and it also offers jius opportunities to raise awareness of the organization through our presentations on stage or by supporting the organization in the community area on the expo floor.

However, Identiverse 2018 carried a special gravitas for Kantara. After months of semi-confidential discussion and subsequent plenary consultation, the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IDESG) and Kantara were finally able to announce, at the Identiverse welcome reception, the transition of IDESG’s assets to Kantara for further development and operationalization upon the completion of IDESG’s NIST grant funding. With a drum roll from the band to mark the sense of occasion, the respective presidents of IDESG and Kantara took to the stage and signed the legal documents in front of a large group of members and participants from both organizations. You can read the press release for more details.

What does it mean for NSTIC, the policy that heralded IDESG’s creation, for IDESG itself, and for Kantara?

It means that, inside Kantara, IDESG can continue its great work developing new schemes and services while maintaining the baseline requirements that comprise the Identity Ecosystem Framework (IDEF) and the Registry of solution providers self-attesting to their adherence to the IDEF. For Kantara, the IDEF and the Registry will add to the growing stable of Kantara Trust-Marked schemes in its Trust Framework Operations and Assurance program. And a modified form of the IDESG brand and Trust Mark (pictured) will continue to be promulgated in the U.S.

There’s an air of anticipatory excitement that often accompanies a fresh start or a new beginning—that the past is, well, just that. And as an industry community, we re-group to develop the identity ecosystem that we envisioned back at IDESG’s birth in 2012 using NSTIC’s mantra—where identity solutions are privacy-enhancing and voluntary, secure and resilient, interoperable and cost-effective and easy to use.  

We do hope you’ll throw your weight behind Kantara’s efforts to breathe new life into the work and into the ecosystem. And I sincerely look forward to welcoming you over in Kantara.


By Colin Wallis

Executive Director, Kantara Initiative

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