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Online identity woes can only be solved through the medium of GIF

Non-graphical bods seek vendor support for Identity 3.0

The Global Identity Foundation aims to recruit vendors in its ambitious quest to develop a global digital identity ecosystem.

GIF is seeking to develop a new, global solution for digital identities, with the not-for-profit organisation building on work from the Jericho Forum, including the Jericho Forum’s Identity, Entitlement & Access Management (IdEA) Commandments (PDF).

More specifically, GIF aims to bring together vendors and security experts to develop a single, open-source, globally accepted, digital identity ecosystem – Identity 3.0 – for secure and trusted online and offline transactions.

“Digital identity is broken," said Paul Simmonds, chief exec of the GIF and ex co-founder and board member of the Jericho Forum. "Online credit card fraud, phishing, and cybercrime all succeed by fraudulently using someone else’s identity and users are rightly concerned about access to their personal information."

"In 2014 alone, millions of user records were stolen through data breaches including at Sony, eBay, and JP Morgan. In a world where we shop and bank online, and share personal details on social media, we urgently need to move beyond passwords and basic web security,” he added.

Identity 3.0 aims to evolve as a framework that will allow existing and new identity technologies – utilising existing standards and cryptography – to co-exist in a decentralised global framework.

”Collaboration in a vendor-neutral environment is key to making this work globally,” said Dr Steve Moyle, COO of the Global Identity Foundation. “We need to be able to answer key questions such as ‘will the Chinese accept a US identity and vice versa?' and 'can I verify that identity attributes are authoritative?' Solving these and other identity problems is of benefit to all companies and governments.”

El Reg caught up with GIF boss Paul Simmonds at the Infosec trade show last week where he didn't demure from our suggestions that GIF's goals are "a big ask".

Simmonds was previously a core member of the Jericho Forum, a group of corporate CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) and some vendors, which is best known for its work on de-perimeterisation.

Despite this work, which in some ways paved the way for the wider introduction of cloud computing and BYOD in the largest corporates, the firewall market remains buoyant.

After a 10-year run, the Jericho Forum disbanded in October 2013 but the documents and papers it put together remain available through the Open Group website.

If the Jericho Forum was about BYOD then the GIF is about Bring Your Own ID. GIF is actively looking for vendors, academics and security experts to contribute to the continued development of Identity 3.0, as research sponsors and partners.

As its first projects, the GIF is seeking to define practical use scenarios, future directions for development, and run pilot projects to determine the viability for a global deployment of technologies and services based on its approach.

This is seen at the first step in a journey towards the global digital identity ecosystem – Identity 3.0 – which would work identically for all entities (eg. individuals, devices or organisations) and which will be accepted by governments and corporations.

More information on the Global Identity Foundation can be found on the organisation's website here. ®

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