Where is the phone?

This morning my grandmother phoned. Nothing strange in that, but it got me thinking because I couldn’t find the telephone. You know that new-age problem that has arrived with mobile technologies. So my cordless phone was somewhere downstairs and I was upstairs. When I got to the source of the sound, I could hear it, but strangely the sounds was muffled, it was underneath some cushions on the armchair, and had fallen down the back. Whilst digging it out I did wonder how many people in the world, at that precise moment in time, were doing the same as me…. looking for their telephone 😉

Identity management is dead?

You know there’s an awful lot of chat (Kim Cameron, Dave Kearns, Eric Norlin) going on about identity, meta-directory systems, etc., sparked by HP’s announcement on change of focus concerning their identity management product. Burton Group has been contacted by HP customers who report that HP is no longer going to seek new customers for its Identity Center product. There are even claims that ‘a meta-directory is ‘dead’.

It is the meta-directory that carries the function of identity management in an enterprise, and identity management will NEVER be dead. Take the UK health authorities that linking up their health records, what about the linking of DNA databases at the European level, etc.., to name just a couple of examples that come to mind.

It is just that identity management once a problem solely for the enterprise -and identity management products have been developed and geared towards this goal- has now today become everyone’s problem. You and me, your children, your neighbours, school teachers, it impact each one of us. As such identity management, what it is, what it needs to provide, has during the most recent years (last 5 years) has changed significantly. Those hardened directory engineers amongst us have become confused because of this, because we have not really got it yet, what has happened? The management of our Identity (not identity management) has grown its own set of legs and is running without us. We can have several identities, physical and virtual. Everything linked to our identity has the potential to impact our reputation. It is not that identity management is dead, it is just that it has changed, it is more than just meta-directories, although they still play a significant role behind the scenes.

Phorm – a new level of effectiveness in online advertising

Leading UK ISPs BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, along with advertisers, agencies, publishers and ad networks, work with Phorm to make online advertising more relevant, rewarding and valuable.

Phorm (AIM: PHRM and PHRX), the advertising technology company, today (14 February 2008) announces exclusive agreements with UK internet service providers (ISPs) BT PLC, TalkTalk and Virgin Media Inc. Phorm’s industry leading technology will enable the companies to offer a new online advertising platform, the Open Internet Exchange (OIX), and a free consumer internet feature, Webwise, which ensures fewer irrelevant adverts and additional protection against malicious websites. It will also revolutionise current standards of online privacy and fully protect the identity of consumers. Phorm’s privacy claims have been validated under best industry practices, both through an independent audit conducted by Ernst & Young (View report PDF) and a Privacy Impact Assessment undertaken by Simon Davies, MD of 80/20 Thinking and Director of Privacy International. It says there is an easy opt-out mechanism. Pity it is not the opposite, i.e. an opt-in mechanism;-)

Umm not sure I buy this, sounds like another ploy to collect more information on us when we are online!

The power of information and TRUST

A couple of weeks ago, the British Computer Society (BCS) released a poll showing two-thirds of Britons say their trust in the government to look after personal data has fallen in the light of recent revelations. At the same time, parliament’s joint committee on human rights painted a picture of a government with a frighteningly gung-ho attitude to new data-sharing procedures. Its report criticised the approach of passing laws containing very broad enabling provisions, while relying on secondary legislation, generally unscrutinised by parliament, for data protection safeguards.

Even more than the recent data loss fiascoes, this is a symptom of a government out of step with growing public awareness of the power of information. If IT-based reforms – let alone schemes like the ID card – are to retain credibility, the government must recognise these concerns. Read more….