The Interenet Identity Workshop is about moving user-centric identity ideas and technologies forward. User-centric identity starts with the individual, and his or her needs. It does not start with enterprise or technology vendors, although plenty of those have been involved in user-centric conversations and development projects form the beginning.
One of the things I'm most excited about December's event is the interop demos that are shaping up. Johannes Ernst characterized the Internet Identity Workshop's role in promoting on user-centric identity like this:
IIW 2005: we met each other and found out what everybody was working on
IIW 2006a: we discussed very specific interoperability points and how to accomplish them
IIW 2006b: we show actual working interoperability (lab stage).
Interop is critical to user-centric identity because user-centric identity is about working relationships and services between individuals and retailers, employers, membership bodies, and organizations of any kind. It is not about a centralized solution, or anybody's silo. As such it solves different problems than the familiar ones of providing authentication and authorization services within a single organization, or federation between different organizations.
As you can see from Jahannes' comment, Internet Identity Workshops are informal and purpose-driven. In every IIW so far, a high degree of progress has been made, within and between separate development efforts. IIWs also serve as the main forums for face-to-face meeting of the whole user-centric identity community.
IIW is an unconference. As such, there are no formal presentations, no keynotes, no panels. Instead, topics are vetted and chosen by participants when the workshop convenes, and open meetings are organized and scheduled for the day that follows. Given the paths of various development projects, however, we expect the following to come up at the workshop:
Technical protocols, frameworks and proposals such as: OpenID (Sxip, LID, i-names, XRI, Yadis), SAML, Identity metasystem, CardSpace, i-cards, Open Source Identity System (OSIS), XDI, itags, Identity Schemas and the Higgins Project.
The nitty gritty of how to do implementation for startups, large existing customer bases, political campaigns and nonprofit adopters.
The user experiences of identity systems - what do we know? what do we need to learn more about?
Legal and social issues like identity rights agreements, reputation, privacy, anonymity, etc.
Exploring emerging use cases for an identity layer in markets such as user generated video, innovative economic networks, attention and intention brokering, lead generation, user-driven preferences, and social networking.
If you're interested in identity on the Internet, we'd welcome your participation and I think you'd really enjoy the experience. Visit the registration page for more information.