Kantara Initiative announced at RSA pre-conference

Yesterday, Trent Adams (Internet Society), Eve Maler (Sun/Concordia), Brett McDowell (Liberty), Drummond Reed (ICF) and Nat Sakimura (XRI) were on stage at the RSA pre-conference workshop to announce the launch of the Kantara Initiative.

Anyone who speaks Arabic (or Swahili, apparently) already knew yesterday that Kantara (قـنـطــرة)* means “bridge”; today, a whole lot more people are coming to understand Kantara as a construction intended to bridge the gaps between organisations working on the many and diverse problems of digital identity and privacy.

I include ‘privacy’ partly because it is so integral to the idea of digital identity, and partly for more self-interested reasons.

I’m delighted to be able to announce that I (through Future Identity Ltd) have been engaged to define, scope and prepare the ground for a Kantara Director of Privacy and Policy (DPP) role. I had originally planned to propose the title of Chief Privacy and Public Policy Officer, but suspected that the novelty value of “C3PO” would very quickly wear thin.

Whatever the label, though, I am genuinely excited by this fantastic opportunity to be at the confluence of so many crucial topics and so many bright, creative people.

To revisit the ‘bridge’ metaphor for a brief moment – the keystone of Kantara is participation. The organisation and its charter have been intentionally designed to minimise or remove obstacles to participation – so please keep an eye out as we populate the Kantara website with further details of the group to work on matters of privacy and public policy. In my preparatory work, I have set myself some interesting goals relating to stakeholder engagement, so be warned, I will be looking for people to contribute actively to the group…

Of course, I’ll also be using this blog, my Twitter account and the FutureIdentity website to alert people to any updates.

*apologies if the Arabic in doesn’t render well in your browser. And as a nit-pick – can someone better qualified than me comment on whether the transliteration of “ق” would more correctly be “Q” than “K”? I think I’m right in saying that it is the letter called qaaf (as in Qatar) rather than the one called kaaf (as in Kuwait).

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2 thoughts on “Kantara Initiative announced at RSA pre-conference

  1. CarolynC says:

    Robin, great news for you!BTW Check out Hal Stern’s comments http://blogs.sun.com/stern/about his visit to Johannesburg, seeing as how you will be there in a short while.

  2. Eve M. says:

    Congratulations on your important new role, Robin! And thanks for a thoughtful post on the launch of Kantara.

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