Kantara Initiative is a Bridging and harmonizing the identity community with actions that will help ensure secure, identity-based, on-line interactions while preventing misuse of personal information so that networks will become privacy protecting and more natively trustworthy environments. I have been working diligently on this project and I am so happy to see this date.
FYI, Kantara (kan-TAR-a): Kiswahili for “bridge”; Arabic roots in “harmony”, and
Initiative (i-NISH-ee-uh-tiv): an introductory act or step; leading action. When we were discussing the name back in February, the name just clicked inside me. (I grew up in Kenya, where Kiswahili [Swahili Language] is one of the primary language). Bridging and harmonizing the identity community – Is it not appropriate in this seemingly fragmented islands of Identity. Also, the fact that President Obama who is inaugurated this year has roots in Kenya, and the Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, is from Tanzania and speaks Kiswahili added “timeliness”, too.
Yes, I know that some people in OpenID community/foundation are uncomfortable with the idea. (I do not know why, and I never got a good answer.) However, I strongly believe that we should not live in isolation. Creating Bridges to different islands.
One of the first output of this “Bridging” initiative is the OpenID/SAML Interop of the Concordia Working Group. It is done by NTT/NRI (my company)/Oracle that translates SAML AuthnContext Assertion into OpenID PAPE Assertion and vice versa. At the demo, you can see that one can login to an OpenID site using SAML IdP, login to a SAML site using OpenID Provider, etc.
Later today, I will be a part of Identity Assurance Panel at 3:30pm, so I might touch on it as well.
Having been working on Digital Identity since 2000.
Co-author of various identity related specifications like OpenID Connect, JSON Web Token.
Chair of the OpenID Foundation (2011-)
Vice Chair of the OpenID Foundation (2010),
Founder of OpenID Foundation Japan (2008-),
Trustee of Kantara Initiative (2009-).