Put 100 Relying Parties in a Room and What Do You Get?

It’s an open secret among us identity geeks that, despite all of federated identity’s progress, one thing has lagged significantly: relying party participation1. Getting relying parties to the table, to talk about challenges they have with identity on the Internet, has always been a hard problem. Although the identity community has grown, the number of relying parties getting involved with things like the Internet Identity Workshop hasn’t kept pace.

Willingly or not, NIST’s National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) has taken up the challenge of increasing relying party participation. Without real-life use cases based on actual business, actually problems, NSTIC is, though aspirational, vague. However, armed with a set of discrete use cases, NSTIC (and more importantly the identity community) can begin to craft solutions, discover unforeseen challenges, strengthen protocols, and tackle policy issues. But to get these needed use cases requires relying parties to be involved.

To that end, NSTIC is hosting an event at the White House Wednesday May 23rd. The program office has invited over 100 companies all of whom are potential relying parties. These companies are household names, spanning multiple industry sectors. In short, they are a cross-section of economic engines of this country, and by bringing them together in a safe space, the NSTIC program office hopes pick up the pace of relying party engagement and bolster the ranks of companies who can become more efficient and unlock new value by using federated identity.

But there’s only so much convincing the government can do directly. At the event, I’ll be participating on a panel of companies from different industries discussing the value they can recognize by using the techniques that NSTIC promotes. I am going to try and tweet as much as I can from the event and will follow up with a post on its results. If you want to keep tabs on NSTIC’s relying party party, follow me, and tune in on Wednesday May 23rd at 10am eastern.


1 I know that getting identity providers to play is an issue too but that seems to be an easier problem to solve.

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