To make sure that any Digital ID ecosystem operates to the rules that ensure the use of Digital ID is safe, consistent and interoperable, some sort of Competent Authority is required. These rules are not just defined at a national level, but in order for IDs to interoperate on a global scale, are also defined also at a regional and global level

While OIX today is not a competent authority, it is uniquely positioned to be its catalyst.  By coordinating stakeholder input across the public and private sectors, Open Identity Exchange’s core competency is to drive collaboration. OIX does so uniquely, openly and in concrete ways by leveraging its’ years of projects, pilots and White Papers. It continues to walk the talk, by piloting a new membership directory and will be sharing its “blueprints” for a competent authority at the upcoming Economics of Identity Conference.

These “blueprints” cannot be drawn up by OIX alone. I pounded the table in encouraging the Board to accelerate its investment in developing the next iteration of “blueprints” and to form a new Open Identity Exchange Advisory Board. Adding the input of colleagues from gaming, age related services, financial services and other sectors to those represented on the main OIX Board as we consider what the private sector requirements are to truly reflect the diversity of the UK identity ecosystem. It must be said that Cabinet Office’s leadership on the OIX Board for over 7 years and its significant investment in papers and projects over that time has been instrumental in getting to where we are today.

Real progress now seems more likely than ever as four parallel consultations or collaborations are now underway in the UK:
-the new Digital Identity Unit, demonstrating a government collaboration between GDS and DCMS, is foreseen in the public consultation underway as per last June’s ministerial announcement.
-the OIX and techUK collaboration is seeing a set of working groups readying its reports and recommendations for the upcoming Economics of Identity Conference.

-GDS is consulting OIX members and other key organisations on the formation of the new public / private UK Trust Framework
-the TISA collaboration on its trust framework for standards, schemes and signals is driving for Digital Identity acceptance in financial services.

In true OIX fashion, I took up the challenge of openly sharing my views in a recent OIX White Paper: “Aligning the Governance Rules and Technology Tools of Digital Identity: Solving Today’s Burning Business Problems” describes a “competent authority” supporting UK private and public sectors fit for the purpose of enabling services that are secure, privacy protecting and easy to use.

Finally the end of 2019 completes the consolidation of all OIX resources into a UK based global organization. It “gets all the wood behind the arrowhead”.  Our upcoming vote for member representative is important as the board responds to how to best address its new focus with new leadership. As OIX’s founder, I am delighted to hand the baton to Nick Mothershaw, who can ably lead this next chapter in OIX’s evolution. I want to take this opportunity to thank you – OIX members, partners and friends for your gracious support over the years.  In 2020, I’ll continue to explore the nexus between open identity and open banking in my role as Executive Director of the OpenID Foundation. I will also take up the post of non-executive director for OIX.

The Road To 2020 has been bumpy, but I remain sanguine and-

Yours truly,

Don Thibeau
Non-exec Director
Open Identity Exchange