BC & NZ: Info Cards & Liberty Specs

December 21, 2007 at 8:39 pm 1 comment

As the last post for the year, there was a temptation to look back and reflect on the past year. All that changed after I heard a recording of Jon Udell interviewing Dick Hardt in IT Conversations. It made me realise how the real opportunities and challenges lie ahead of us, not behind.

In the interview, Dick talks about the work being done for the Government of British Columbia, Canada (BC) to develop a claims-based identity metasystem. Essentially, the work is an Identity 2.0 and Info Cards rendition of traditional government to people interactions.

New Zealand’s approach, GOAAMS delivered under the “igovt” banner, is perhaps best understood from the 2007 IDDY Award webcast. Both the slides and the webcast recording (needs WebEx Player) are now available.

The drivers that Dick articulated for BC are the same for NZ:

– better service delivery that requires information held across various government departmental and organisational silos to somehow be brought together in a secure and privacy-protective manner; and

– giving citizens better access to the information held about them by government.

However, the implementation paths are different. The BC project is based on Info Cards while the NZ one will probably go down the Liberty Alliance’s specs path but allowing Info Cards as an optional UI.

One thing everyone will agree with is that both implementation paths have their own pros and cons. Over time, hopefully differences will not matter too much but given the current state of interoperability, they do. And that translates into substantial differences in architecture, customer experience, the “mental model”, requirements on information providers, ability to join up service delivery, and the uptake strategy.

While the similarities in outcomes between the BC and NZ approaches are important, it is the differences in implementation that provide a great insight into the opportunities and challenges for both governments. Work on comparing and contrasting the two should throw up areas that both governments need to consider in their respective efforts.

To me, that is a very important piece of work to do next year.

In the meantime, it’s time to get the barbie (BBQ) going and break out the beer. I hope you have a great holiday and, like me, come back refreshed and ready for a cracker year ahead.

Entry filed under: authentication, Canada, government, identity, igovt, Info_Cards, interop, Lib_Alliance, NZ, personal_info, privacy, strategy, video.

Promoting online services OpenID changing gears

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