Blessed are the Doers for They Shall Inherit the Ecosystem

Pilots and problem solving, like science experiments, don’t always work as expected. But we always publish results in the hope we can advance the conversation. OIX takes on the hardest problems in identity like liability. We enable competitors to collaborate through a remarkable IPR container used by global leaders.

OIX has helped pilots involving shared signals and Mobile Network Operators across borders. Years ago, Google and Verizon collaborated on an OIX pilot called “Street Identity” sorting out the issues of binding a physical “street” address with an online address like an email account. It was an agile, “Googley” approach; market test a hypothesis, see it works and then “wash, rinse and repeat.”

And of late we’ve turned our attention on how best to verify the identities of the disadvantaged, the “thin file” demographics. There’s been a lot of recent discussions on helping disadvantaged citizens AKA the under-banked, the ‘thin files’ folks unable to participate fully in government-to-citizen services online. It’s a growing problem common to governments and Internet identity systems worldwide.

OIX Board member companies like Equifax, Experian and LexisNexis are building commercial data solutions that address the verification of the ‘thin file’ demographic. CA Technology, Microsoft and others provide the enterprise systems at scale that support attribute exchange across populations. Ping Identity, Verizon and others are looking at extending attribute provisioning into national health care systems.

These members have in common is that they are all involved in the GOV.UK Verify program at the same time exploring similar propositions with Federal and State officials in the US. The ROI of delivering G2C services is compelling and happening now. It seems the right thing to do and an economically sensible area to explore.

We’ll build on the OIX’s GOV.UK Verify pilots and White Papers. The idea is simple – learn from UK Pilots in South Yorkshire, Warwickshire, etc. to inform pilots in the US.

Truth be told, innovations occur where the rubber hits the road, at the state, local and municipal levels. Whether in Warwickshire or Pennsylvania, South Yorkshire or Virginia, British Columbia or Texas, that’s where real problems in verifying identity gets solved; its where Internet identity isn’t aspirational its critical.

Building Blocks of Trusted Transactions

Many of you have heard me talk about the need for a registry of trusted identity systems and the vision for OIXnet over the last couple of years. Today I am proud to announce the launch of OIXnet at RSA 2015.

OIX has a global reputation for managing pragmatic pilots. So no surprise, this launch is a pilot in partnership with the OpenID Foundation whereby the Foundation is registering OpenID Connect certifications at OIXnet. Early adopters who have self certified and registered include Google, Microsoft, ForgeRock, Ping Identity, Nomura Research Institute, and PayPal. There will phases of adoption by other industry leaders who will join the program throughout 2015.

We announced in the OIXnet launch press release today that SAFE-BioPharma and SecureKey will be among the first trust framework providers (TFPs) to register their requirements and participants at OIXnet. We look forward to working with these two member organizations in getting their trust frameworks registered soon.

So why a registry? The OIXnet registry is designed to provide a comprehensive and authoritative location where documents and information relating to a specific purpose can be safely exposed to the marker. This transparency mechanism has the purpose of making available to others interoperability requirements that can be accessed by interested stakeholders seeking such information. Through registration, TFPs provide their business, legal and technical requirements to be registered through a neutral, non-profit, technology agnostic, multi tenant source. It provides a transparency and discovery mechanism for participants and users of identity systems to remove friction and build trust. Trust that results in higher volumes, velocity and variety of transactions.

So why OIXnet? One of the key value propositions of OIXnet is ‘disclosure’. OIXnet provides the visibility, transparency and understandability needed to enable trust among identity system participants. Two key words in that last sentence: ‘trust’ and ‘transparency’. Both are needed to ensure identity services success. As a colleague suggested in a recent exchange, “we need absolute trust in the transparency infrastructure”. OIXnet seeks to be a part of that ‘transparency infrastructure’.

I look forward to updating you on OIXnet momentum and adoption again soon.

Don