Day one at the Internet Identity Workshop, or IIW2007, began with Eugene Kim - Chairman-elect of Identity Commons ("2.0", now with rounded corners), asking those attending their first IIW to stand up - over two-thirds of the 150 or so people in the room stood up. This is a great trend - the word is getting out!

I have been away from the technical side of the identity world for the last two years, but it seems not much has changed. Yes, there are now over 90 million people who have an OpenID, but few people are actually using the darn things. In the breakout session on three challenges in the identity space, I led a group of eight people as we came up with a list that was similar to what we were asking at the first IIW two years ago in Berkeley:

  • Privacy vs. Attribute-based Authorization
  • Trust Models and Reputation
  • Interoperability
What was great was to see the progress in the field, that came from two unexpected directions:
  • While in the past, experiencing the initial six presentations (OSIS, Liberty Alliance, CardSpace, Higgins, OpenID and the OpenID Foundation) would have been like being at six different conferences, as they were all working to separate themselves from the others, this time they were all converging to a single agreed space and were basically saying the same thing in different words and detail;
  • There was a lot of running code! Examples include a Higgins framework for Second Life, Pibb (an OpenID-enabled IRC client), ws02's identity solution, and even Simple Authentication for the Web (pdf) or "SAW", which relies on the "I forgot my password" link to perform authentications.
Doc Searls ended the day noting that "all the identities in your wallet were given to you by someone else" and that our job is to co-create the user-centric digital identity needed to take back our power.

In the Open Space sessions tomorrow, I expect I'll be leading or co-leading sessions on Why XRI? and Grassroots Reputation. I'm looking forward to it.

Fen Labalme joined CivicActions as an Engineer in 2005.