White Paper: What Could Kill NSTIC? A friendly threat assessment

I shouted “Death to NSTIC!” and my session filled up. This was at the Spring 2011 Internet Identity Workshop and the National Strategy for Trusted Identity in Cyberspace program office was getting its act together, meeting the identerati in Mountain View, California. We took over a room and a whiteboard and imagined what could keep NSTIC’s vision from coming true. The dozen folks in the room were diverse. We were from startups and big companies, governments and NGOs. We were tech geeks, policy wonks, and executive suits. We dredged up failures we’ve known, obvious challenges and barriers unique to the notion of an “identity ecosystem.”

Death to NSTIC!

18 months later I did it again, with a different group, at the Fall 2012 IIW. Again, a whiteboard full of threats.

"Death To NSTIC" session at IIW15

I sat down in December and correlated the two sets of findings. PDEC is putting this out as a whitepaper, full of the details. Read on Scribd or download the pdf. I have a presentation version on Slideshare or you can download the deck as a pdf too.  

Two threats stood out. First, a user experience failure could destroy user adoption, ruin trust in the ecosystem, and twist user behavior counterproductively. Second, the ecosystem’s success depends on being strong in four areas (technology, economy, policy, and culture) and in having each of those areas balance the others. An imbalance could rip the ecosystem apart. 

Something stayed constant between the two sessions: performance anxiety. Execution risk was the overarching concern. Few attempts at something this complex ever go live, let alone thrive. 

Something changed between the two sessions, however. Where the first had many outside threats, the second session focused on internal risks. Less we-may-be-tackled-by-opponents and more we-may-fumble-without-interference. [Sorry for the US football metaphor.] Speculating, it may be that people had shown up to the program, light bureaucracy was being worked out, and it had all become more real.

It’s important to get digital identity right. It affects everyone, every business, every institution.

To that end, NSTIC’s Identity Ecosystem plenary (the people and companies that make up the ecosystem) is meeting this week in Phoenix, and PDEC’s Kaliya Hamlin is there to speak for our startups as part of her “Personal Data World Tour” taking her from Arizona, to D.C. to Austria (conference) to London (seminar) to Manhattan (seminar). Starting now, Kaliya is running to represent all small businesses and entrepreneurs on the IESG’s management councilsign up to vote for her by 14 February.  

What do you think could kill NSTIC? 


PDEC Whitepaper – What Could Kill NSTIC 2013 by evanwolf on Scribd

Personal Data Journal #5: Fast Cars, Breaking Standards, and Life at the DataEdge

Here’s what we did this summer: The Personal Data Journal has a new look, clearer organization, new features (like a directory of startups in the ecosystem), and new navigation features to easily move through each digital issue. Cover thumbnail for PDJ #5

Deep: Diving into rich ideas, experiences, and models.

  • Markus Sabadello explains XRI and how PDEC members are using its protocols to craft fine-grained interop.
  • Kaliya reports from the DataEdge Conference at U.C. Berkeley; smart people giving great talks on personal identity, personal data, and making sense of it all.
  • Phil Wolff asks if personal data in connected cars is moving in the right direction.
  • Tony Fish stirred up trouble in London at the first Personal Data Ecosystem Catalyst workshop. Best session: What is the ecosystem’s story? How do we tell it simply and engagingly so it rings true? Read the session notes and be sure to come to the first post-Olympics workshop in September.

Wide: Surveying the environment for trends and context.

  • In government news we have updates from the US with NSTIC, a new law to compel faster breach notices, Do Not Track at Twitter, and political campaigns buying PII; from the EU on privacy affecting police and rules affecting biometrics; a new Philippines data protection law; France’s updated browser cookie guidelines; and Australia’s launch of Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records.
  • Gartner predicts: one third of personal data will be in the cloud in four years. We have findings from a UK study on personal data sharing attitudes. And samplings from news about personal data and consumerism, racism, architecture, smart meters, mobile commerce, and abysmal terms of service.June 2012 Singly App Challenge Weekend - A programmer codes under pressure
  • Standards roundups from W3C, OASIS, IETF, Kantara, OpenID Connect, UMBEL, OAuth. And more.
  • We welcome a swarm of new members to the Startup Circle and reports from Archify, Singly, Privowny, Kynetx, and SquareTag.

Actionable: Tools and resources for driving forward.

  • Put these events on your calendar: the monthly London Catalyst Workshops, Data Week in San Francisco in September, and the W3C Federated Social Web Summit and IIW15 in October. Details in the Journal.
  • We digest reports, papers, and video resources from the World Economic Forum, the Digital Enlightenment Yearbook, the US Digital Government report, a deep dive into the UK’s attitudes on personal information, and our own PDEC Startup Technology Report a snapshot of tools used in our ecosystem.

If you’re new to this, the Journal is part of PDEC’s education program, serving our mission to catalyze a user-centered personal data ecosystem.

You or your organization can subscribe to Personal Data Journal. Our Startup Circle community gets the Journal with membership. And we always welcome tips, news and story ideas at

Thanks and we’ll see you promptly at the beginning of October.

What technologies do PDEC startups use? [Free Report]


PDEC releases its first Startup Technology Report [download the pdf] today, researched by Markus Sabadello, funded by a grant from the Internet Society. The research explored which technologies are currently being used across the many efforts to build personal data services in the emerging personal data ecosystem. Markus collected the data through interviews and surveys with founders and technologists at dozens of startups, including many from PDEC’s own startup circle. He summarized and analyzed the data for the first ever snapshot of the tools deployed at the front line by people betting their companies and careers on interoperability. The research covers architecture, user identity and authentication protocols, data models and types of personal data used, access APIs, privacy and security methods, and interoperability scenarios.

This report lacks the excitement of a Jason Bourne adventure but it will be immediately useful for your own personal data project.

Our executive director, Kaliya Hamlin, founded the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium to catalyze a thriving ecosystem where every day people have the power to gain insight and, if they choose, to get value from their personal data. In Kaliya’s preface to this report, she writes “the PDEC Startup Circle came together a year ago to connect startup entrepreneurs and technologists who share this vision. We successfully fostered shared understanding amongst this growing community, now at over 30 companies. A shared language is starting to emerge; this report is a key part of that process. We’re also learning through evidence, discovering the range of approaches that make the vision of a Personal Data Ecosystem a reality.”

Thanks to funding from Lucy Lynch at ISOC and the research of Markus Sabadello we are pleased to publish what we hope will be the first of many topical and collaborative reports on key aspects of this emerging industry.

PDEC Tech Research Phase One Report

Personal Data Journal #3

 In this Issue:

Feature Article: Personal Data in Decentralized Network Architectures, by Markus Sabadello, Technical Analyst

Special Report:  Privacy Bill of Rights from the White House,

Book Review: The Daily YouConsent of the Networked


  • Personal Data as a New Asset Class: Petroleum or Snake Oil? by Sara Wedeman
  • Words of a Feather by Tony Fish

Publisher’s Note: ”Catalyzing the Ecosystem,”

Editorial: “US and EU: A Tale of Two Cities,”

+ Industry News, Upcoming EventsEvents, The Latest on Standards and New Resources. 

You can subscribe here.