Internet Identity Workshop 2006

I'm at IIW2006 in Mountain View today (and tomorrow as well).  I'm a highly interested observer who just wants stable identity and authentication system(s) to build useful things upon.  From my point of view, the really useful thing that's happening at this conference is the interactions between lots of really smart people who are motivated to interoperate and provide really useful identity services for real people.

We had a good discussion about interoperability with AOL's Yan Cheng talking about different dimensions of functionality which are, at least to a first approximation, orthogonal.  For example, exactly how authentication is handled is mostly orthogonal to the issues of how public identity and reputation is handled.  I do think that we need to talk about these things in the context of real world examples.  It's the minor little things that trip these simple scenarios up -- like, how do we auto-discover authentication capabilities from a user without adding even more login steps?

It seems like this space is going into a consolidation/cooperation phase, where everybody agrees to work together using a few very basic building blocks in an extensible framework.