The Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) recently held their 21st Meeting and AVG was one of the sponsors. Once again hosted at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, this academic conference is focused on finding, probing and exploring the issues related to identity management.
The organizers, Phil Windley (@windley) and Kaliya Hamlin (@IdentityWoman) have managed to keep the IIW event rich with content, and suitably engaging to attract a loyal following of technical people.
The core themes of the conference were around trust, identity, privacy and technology – areas that we at AVG are very passionate about!
While a lot of users are quite proficient with the “sticky note system” for managing their internet identity, passwords and usernames – this conference by contrast is aimed at highly technical and advanced solutions that one day might provide a better and more secure alternative.
Technological advancement is happening quickly in the world of identity, and even a relatively new technology such as OAuth 2.0 is old news at IIW, with this year’s conversation all about the Blockchain – a technology utilized by the well-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
Whereas previous identity recommendations have centered around technologies that look like an unbreakable-black-box, the Blockchain discussion is driven by a general consensus for complete transparency underpinned by cryptography that provides security and integrity.
The notion of using a Blockchain, which is a type of ‘distributed ledger’ offers the possibility of providing a secure history of every transaction – a chain of trust, which also acts as a permanent record of your identity that cannot be removed or tampered with.
This model of establishing trust is quite intuitive and human. We trust people who are trusted by others, and so forth. For example, it’s the way Google search rankings work (pages that link to other pages), and the way that SSL certificates are signed so you can trust your banking website.
“No, I am your father!”, from Darth Vader in Star Wars, just wouldn’t have carried the same element of surprise to Luke if they had access to Blockchain technology!