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Guest Blog: Musings from the Internet Identity Workshop



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May 11, 2006 9:34 am

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Sarah Mees, product marketing manager at Novell shares her observations and experiences from last week’s Internet Identity Workshop 2006.I’m just back from three fascinating days rubbing elbows with the identity intelligentsia at the Internet Identity Workshop held last week in Mountain View. The workshop is focused on user-centric identity and other identity-related issues and featured an unusual format called open space. That is to say, there was no formal conference agenda – everyone had the opportunity to propose topics and the agenda was created on the spot….very dynamic, very fresh totally engaging. I wish I could have cloned myself and attended more presentations.Day one was a primer for folks that are not part of the Identity Gang and other leading identity-driven thinkers, and provided a terrific level set for the rest of the workshop. One of the most interesting things from my perspective was to get an overview of the Lexicon project underway at the identitygang.org, only to discover within a matter of minutes that every presenter had their own lexicon for identity…but by the end of the day it was clear that there was a lot of common ground despite the semantics.There were a few conversations that were so intriguing that I can’t stop thinking about them. First, there was a lot of interest in Microsoft’s InfoCards and even more interest in the development of an open source implementation. In fact, there was a group of students from the University of North Carolina that built and demoed a Java version of the InfoCard-like identity selector/GUI. I’m still not 100% sure what InfoCards are, but they do look very convenient and they won’t work on my Linux desktop unless the community gets together and makes it happen the prospect of which seems quite likely after all the chatter this week.One of Novell’s distinguished engineers, Dale Olds, led one of the more interesting sessions that I attended. It was a group effort to build a map of open source identity initiatives, as well as open standards and protocols. I was aware of a few, including the Higgins Project, but there are a lot of other projects and protocols that I’d never heard of – including an open source implementation of Liberty that is very encouraging. Last for now is a conversation that I had with another workshop attendee who works for the world’s leading lock group, think Yale Lock, Sargent, etc. It was only a brief chat but I asked him what his interest was in the workshop and it turned out to be a subject that I’ve spent a little time thinking about as well the convergence of physical and IT security using identity. This is something that his company’s customers want and it’s something that our customers want and chances are we have many of the same customers. I was unable to attend his session on the subject because it was time to fly home, but I hope to continue the conversation with him and others.I also heard a lot about topics that I intend to follow moving forward, including reputation systems, identity rights agreements, intention, personas and much more.

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