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Debate at the intersection of business, technology and culture in the world of digital identity, both commercial and government, a blog born from the Digital Identity Forum in London and sponsored by Consult Hyperion



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12 posts from November 2006


By davebirch posted Nov 27 2006 at 6:41 PM

[Dave Birch] I love this kind of serendipity.  I was wandering down the road to meet William Heath of Idealgovernment for a coffee when I happened to glance down a passageway in Old Gloucester Road opposite the October gallery.  I was utterly surprised to see a piece of ironwork from 1925 advertising "British Monomarks".  I was even more surprised to see an office marked British Monomarks behind it: it turns out they still exist.

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The national identity phone

By davebirch posted Nov 24 2006 at 5:49 PM

[Dave Birch]  There was an interesting discussion about biometrics at the Digital Identity Forum and there were some idea floating around about how biometrics could be used as part of an identity infrastructure in the mass market.  Meanwhile, in Japan, DoCoMo's new handsets include the 903i series which come preinstalled with the software required to use DoCoMo's DCMX™ mobile credit card on DoCoMo's iD™ platform (contactless payments), a GPS service that enables a misplaced handset to be located with a PC, biometric authentication (based on fingerprint, face or voice), the Omakase Lock and Data Security Service that enables users who lose their phone to call a 24/7 number and have the phone's smart card and personal data locked immediately, Original Certificate which enables user identification certificates issued by service providers such as banks to be downloaded and stored in the handset and used as digital signatures for SSL client authentication.  They also come with the ANSHIN-KEY, a special IC-card key carried in a wallet or handbag to automatically lock/unlock the phone depending on the proximity of the key and the phone.  My new UK phone came with... well, nothing really.  But it has got a much better camera than my old one.

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You've been fingered

By John Elliott posted Nov 23 2006 at 10:32 AM

[John Elliott] A project we worked on for the Police IT Organisation last year is just going live in some UK police forces http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6170070.stm. We worked on the business case and when we built the cost-benefit model, it was one of the most dramatic examples of a "no brainer" that I have ever seen. Fingerprint suspects on encounter and determine whether they are known criminals in 15 minutes, or take them down to the station and risk wasting, on average, four hours of police officer time if the encounter results in release of the suspect.

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eema e-ID

By davebirch posted Nov 17 2006 at 2:25 PM

[Dave Birch] I was invited to speak at a seminar, organised by eema, on the UK e-ID card.  The seminar covered progress to date (which didn't take long, as the IPS speaker dropped out) and the impact on business applications.  This was a useful and illuminating discussion because of the spectrum of organisations represented around the table, ranging from the Department for Work and Pensions to BT.  There was a super discussion about privacy in the afternoon, featuring Ben Laurie (with his Open Rights hat on), Pete Bramhall (from HP) and Gus Hosein from Privacy International.  There's an integral relationship between identity and privacy in the electronic world and so I always enjoys these discussions, especially since none of us were called on to define what we mean "privacy" (or, for that matter, "identity").

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By davebirch posted Nov 15 2006 at 5:43 AM

[Dave Birch] Bruce Schneier's blog points me at the "Budapest Declaration", which also came up at the International Biometric Foundation meeting that I went to yesterday (I was leading the round table on public sector issues).  The declaration includes this: European governments have effectively forced citizens to adopt new international Machine Readable Travel Documents which dramatically decrease their security and privacy and increases risk of identity theft. Simply put, the current implementation of the European passport utilises technologies and standards that are poorly conceived for its purpose. In this declaration, researchers on Identity and Identity Management (supported by a unanimous move in the September 2006 Budapest meeting of the FIDIS “Future of Identity in the Information Society” Network of Excellence) summarise findings from an analysis of MRTDs and recommend corrective measures which need to be adopted by stakeholders in governments and industry to ameliorate outstanding issues. Since e-passports are a very important kind of digital identity, it's important to understand the issues that they are highlighting.

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West meets East

By davebirch posted Nov 13 2006 at 10:15 AM

[Dave Birch]  It can be very confusing, trying to think about digital identity (in our sense of the word, the relationship between real and virtual identities) in the context of evolving technology and emerging social and business structures.  And it's even harder for governments and regulators to understand what to do when, in reality, we are still at such early stages in the “information age” and so don't really know how society is going to adapt.  Take, for example, the issue of “real names” on the Internet.

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Protect and survive

By davebirch posted Nov 10 2006 at 8:17 AM

[Dave Birch] For those of you who are concerned about terrorists tracking you by lighting up your new e-passport from a distance, a company called DIFRwear has started making snazzy passport holders with built-in shielding.

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It's sort of embarassing

By davebirch posted Nov 9 2006 at 10:01 AM

[Dave Birch] I probably shouldn't do this, but I have had such nice e-mails from people who attended to the Forum last week that I wanted to post a few quotes here as a way of saying thank you to everyone who came along and made it what it was: a place for genuine discussion, debate and learning.  And thanks again to Fujitsu, ACI Worldwide, CoreStreet and Royal Mail for getting behind the event: we couldn't have done it without them.

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A big week for identity

By davebirch posted Nov 7 2006 at 9:46 AM

[Dave Birch] It was a big week in the world of identity. It was the 7th annual Digital Identity Forum in London and in Washington the first GSA ID cards were being issued.  Here's final updated version of the agenda for the forum... Digital Id 7 Agenda-1 We'll upload all of the presentations that we have to the Forum web site over the next day or two so please feel free to drop in and download.  And about the GSA...

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Your eyeball - consider it confiscated

By Dave Birch posted Nov 3 2006 at 7:38 PM

[Jane Adams]One of the issues we discussed during the second day of the Digital Identity Forum was revocation in biometrics. There was some confusion about whether a biometric identifier could be revoked - after all, you are hardly going to hand over a finger if a fingerprint scan is compromised. What can be revoked though is the template and a single fingerprint can generate a high number of different templates.

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