For those new to Identityblog and looking for an introduction, here is a short interview I did recently with PTS-TV in England:
- Stream the video
- Download video (right-click / save as)
If you are ready for something more challenging, William Heath of Ideal Government got me thinking about the problems of overly-centralized identity technology in a podcast he described as follows:
Here's an exclusive interview with Kim Cameron, speaking with Jerry Fishenden to me and my colleague Ruth Kennedy. Famous as the Identity law-maker, Kim delivered Microsoft's Damascene conversion on identity matters and has become the catalyst for a new-found cross-industry sense of purpose about what it'll take to get digital identity and authenication that works for all of us.
He speaks exclusively to Ideal Government about the UK's ID developments in the context of state-of-the-art industry developments such as the Laws of Identity, Information Cards and the imminent ID big bang.Note from administrator: (This was a 40 minute interview – the key sections are linked to the text below.
The whole podcast is available here.
This is the first Ideal Government audioblog/podcast so please forgive any clunkiness and background noise – it was a hot day and we were glad of the aircon.) Best way to hear the audio extracts
Firefox users: right click and “Open Link in New Tab”
IE users: I dont know. But when you find out tell me.
Also, anyone can insert inline audio to Expression Engine please tell me!
He sets out what he means by “Identity” (and there are many different meanings). He explains what Information Cards are, and how Microsoft has implemented them under the brand name Cardspace. He explains why for all its regrettable clunkiness the ageing UK Government Gateway is more secure and privacy-friendly than the proposed Home Office ID system, and it's revealed that there is a working version of Information Cards showing UK Government Gateway transactions. But this isnt Passport/Hailstorm revisited: it's as clear to Microsoft as to anyone that this has to work for everyone. We need a cross-industry big Momma identity backplane, and then the identity big bang can happen. But no one entity, country or authority can be in control.
He sets out where his work stands in relation to a user requirement for the ID we need for e-enabled services in the UK. Users decide, he says. If the system isn't widely adopted, it fails. As an architect, he expresses his concerns about the Home Office's ID card system. Too much information is in the same place. It's a colossal blackmail-generation machine. Every system will be breached, he says. If you dont understand that, you don't understand security and should not be talking about it.
He's pretty frustrated about the prospect of a lugubrious ID system which will inevitably damage trust in e-services. But a combination of the difficulty of the undertaking and the common sense of the British public means it will fail. The Brits are sensible, he finds. Tall as he and I are, we all recognise there's a limit: you can't survive if you're much over 11′. “They're trying to build a 60′ man here,” he says. All the technology people he knows feel the same way.
Yet he's very optimisic: UK identity systems can be efficient, secure, privacy-friendly and cheap, he says. The example of an ideal ID architecture he offers is pretty close to home: it's the Scottish Executive. How pleased will the Scots be to have an expensive and ill-conceived UK-wide system forced upon them, in a new West Lothian twist?