Who are you?

Who are you?

Summary: John Fontana is joining ZDNet to author a blog around identity and its implications for privacy, security, mobile computing, social networking and other topics. Here is a look at his background and the two-way dialogue he hopes to have with readers.


Who am I? That's certainly a valid question for the author of an identity blog.

I've spent the past 26 years as a journalist working for newspapers and tech trade publications.  In 2010, I left the tech magazine world after 11 years at Network World magazine having covered Microsoft, Google, IBM and other giants. I joined a vendor (Ping Identity) and assumed a job that gave me latitude to write about the identity industry via various social media channels, blogs and freelanced articles.

Now I am consolidating some of that effort under this blog title (and keeping my day job).

I came to technology in the mid-1990s, lured away from a daily newspaper grind by the shiny newness of the maturing Internet and an expanding dot com bubble that was printing money. I stuck around through the bubble's burst and the subsequent re-birth now known as the cloud. Everything seems more reality based this time around.

One development fostered by the cloud reality is the erosion of computing boundaries. Users, client machines, mobile devices, data stores and applications are no longer just behind corporate firewalls or exclusively under the control of IT. This fact creates implications for identity, access controls, privacy, liability, trust, and many other foundational elements that will eventually help secure everything in a way palatable to companies, organizations and governments.

I hope that here I can explore some of what I see, some of the issues, some of what concerns or confounds you, and track what is going on as corporate computing evolves and your identity becomes the ticket to getting what you want, when you want it and from wherever it lives on the global network.

Topics: Browser, Data Management, Enterprise Software, Software, Social Enterprise


John Fontana is a journalist focusing on authentication, identity, privacy and security issues. Currently, he is the Identity Evangelist for strong authentication vendor Yubico, where he also blogs about industry issues and standards work, including the FIDO Alliance.

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  • Enters fray

    "Everything seems more reality based this time around."<br>False: there has been a steady progression towards vendor control in media, IT offerings and US Government manipulation since the rise of the Internet. Bad start John: add me to your opponents list, provisionally.

    Only half-kidding - if you preserve a BALANCE between the natural greed which follows most creative people/companies after their first success - and the natural laziness of freeloaders who want everything for nothing ... then you will be spared my sarcasm ;-)

    We understand the business models that hotmail, Google search and cheap AMAZON tablets are based on ... but if you go for vendor lock-in or exploitation ... then guess what ? Opposition, insurgance, ... war !

    Welcome to the fray.
    Have a nice day.
  • But "What do you want?"

    Vir, by far, had the best answer to that question. Might be the best lines in the entire 5 years of the series and JMS wrote some great stories.

    Welcome to the fold and have fun writing.
  • I'm surprised

    they didn't couple you with Naraine and Danchev @ Zero Day, or Protalinski @ Friending Facebook, where your chops would really come in handy.

    Hope it works out for you, even if ZDN already has an overload of bloggers.