The user-centric identity gang is all here.

Next week, it’s the 14th edition of the Internet Identity Workshop – now just called IIW – a collection of technologists, developers and dwellers from the identity weeds who grow ID from the ground up. This isn’t an end-user conference with a tchotchke prize list. What gets hashed out here is likely to end up in your enterprise products, your cloud services or your mobile devices.

This year, the conference kicks off with a backdrop of mounting privacy concerns across both government and privacy groups, the proliferation of devices, the emerging API economy, the deterioration of the password and the almost-completion of both OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect.

As always, the agenda gets created in real-time, but some of the emerging popular topic choices, as listed on the IIW website, include the two protocols mentioned in the last paragraph, the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, trust, trust frameworks, personal data stores and emerging cloud identity work such as the Simple Cloud Identity Management spec.

All of these will go through the discussion mill.

Conference co-founder Phil Windley, who is also Founder and CTO of Kynetx and a self-proclaimed voider of warranties, says IIW is unique because it doesn’t start with an agenda – figuratively and literally.

“This is about a community of people interacting. People have the conversations they want to have,” he says.

This year, he has ideas which ones may standout.

Windley’s co-founder Doc Searls (the other co-cofounder is Kaliya Hamlin) has just published another book. This one, “The Intention Economy,” is a book for customers. Customers, Searls claims, are ready to break the shackles that vendors have traditionally put on them.  

Searls, along with others he thanks in the book, has worked tirelessly on his Project VRM (vendor relationship management), the seed for the book, at Harvard’s Berkman Center since 2006.

Two other prominent conversations, Windley predicts, will revolve around trust at Internet scale facilitated by the Open Identity Exchange. The other is around User Managed Access (UMA), under the guidance of Eve Maler, singer, song writer, Forrester Analyst and chief UMAnitarian. UMA gets at putting the user in control of their data and a number of UMA participants are headed to IIW.

Two other conversations not on Windley’s list but with predictable pull are NSTIC and OAuth + derivatives (including UMA).  

The Obama Administration’s NSTIC effort has been funded to the tune of $16.5 million. There have been 27 finalists selected to compete for funding for the pilot programs they proposed, and the NSTIC Program Office finally has some staffers to help out leader Jeremy Grant. What’s next? Getting on a fast track to tangible progress.  What that progress will look like will certainly get the once over at IIW.

OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect have been flirting with completion that has been like watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve in Times Square – in slow motion. I know, these things take time. And no disrespect to the hard work already completed. OpenID Connect, which is built on top of OAuth 2.0, is in an Implementer’s Draft. OAuth 2.0 is near the finish line at the Internet Engineering Task Force. No one is doubting the promises this duo holds such as securing APIs (OAuth) and anchoring user centric ID on the Internet (Connect), but it’s time for the gut check. The Connect working group plans to work on its session management spec at IIW.

If your not planning to attend, the next best thing is to follow on Twitter at #iiw.



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