Blog posts by Tim Cole


OpenID going Large Scale

OpenID, a standard for an open, decentralized and domain-independent identity management, was one of the hot new topics at last year's European Identity Conference (EIC). This year, EIC will host a significant number of speakers talking about their implementations of OpenID, amongst them George Fletcher, Chief Architect for Identity Services at AOL. In a recent interview, George gave a first description of his project: 1. How many OpenID accounts has AOL issued? My understanding is that everybody with an AIM account automatically became the proud owner of a new OpenID, so there...


A German's Hard Disk Is His Castle

Germans became the best-protected users of computers and the Internet today when the Federal Constitutional Court set out strict rules for government agencies anxious to spy on their hard disks. The decision was widely viewed as a slap in the face for Wolfgang Schaeuble, the hard-liner Interior Minster who has been proposing that law enforcement agencies be given broad powers to monitor the computers and e-mails of suspects on their own authority. No, the court said, you have to ask a judge first. And if during the course of an authorized surveillance the police also happen to stumble...


Talking the talk with IBM's Tom Noonan

Tom Noonan of IBM ISS talks a mean speech. Yet somehow I came away slightly unconvinced from a press and analyst briefing he gave on Monday at ISS headquarters in Atlanta. Maybe one reason was that he hardly used the term “identity” as he described in some detail how he perceives the world of IT security and threat management. Instead he has a lot to say about security becoming a utility, about disconnected parts and the need for a “security ecosystem” where the products of each and every vendor can work together to provide seamless and coherent protection of both data (the “new...


A Prescription For A Healthcare Headache

Anyone know where the biggest identity project in the world is going on today? Would you believe Germany? It's true, though. The "Electronic Healthcard" or "elektronische Gesundheitskarte" (known as the "eGK") will soon be issued to some 80 million citizens, providing them for the first time with a digital identity aimed at reducing healthcare costs and improving the quality of service for patients. It may actually save some lives, too, by giving doctors a way to track patient histories and avoid possible side effects or drug allergies. Of course, simply handing out 80 million chip...

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