Identity Commons supports, facilitates, and promotes the creation of an open identity layer for the Internet, one that maximizes control, convenience, and privacy for the individual while encouraging the development of healthy, interoperable communities.

We act as a community information sharing hub, and catalyze community working groups at our semi-annual workshops. These groups work to develop the identity and social layers of the web. We create opportunities for both innovators and competitors, for both the big guy and the small fry to come together in a safe and balanced space.

We formed to facilitate information sharing and coherence this space and to support interoperability and convergence around open standards.

Ways to get involved:

Join our community mailing list here [LINK]

Attend the next Internet Identity Workshops (IIW),

Our semi-annual gathering, the participatory Internet Identity Workshop is coming up;

  • October 23-25 – 2018
  • April 30 – May 2 – 2019

The global identity events calendar. [LINK]

Our goal during each IIW is to fill up the calendar for the coming six months with identity events around the globe.

Join our monthly conference call

We exchange information about ongoing activities in identity.

See notes and information from previous IIW events on our wiki.

Contact us to explore becoming affiliated with Identity Commons:

Write to Kaliya – kaliya [at] identitywoman.net or Mary mary [at] meristic.com


Facilitating broad community dialogue and increasing the diversity of perspectives in the emerging field of user-centric identity is a unique and critical role that Identity Commons currently plays. This role is becoming even more important as the community grows and as the vision of a decentralized, user-centric identity layer for the Internet comes closer to reality. Identity Commons must continue to create opportunities for both innovators and competitors, for both the big guy and the small fry to come together in a safe and balanced space.

Identity Commons can fulfill this role in a variety of ways. Continuing gatherings such as the Internet Identity Workshop . Doing such gatherings under the auspices of Identity Commons enables organizers to leverage common operational resources while focusing their energies on bringing the right people and content to these gatherings. Identity Commons can also play a supportive role for other ad hoc gatherings, both face-to-face and online.

On the technical side, Identity Commons is a voice for multiple, interoperating, and possibly competing, identity standards and reputation networks. Identity Commons encourages the development of systems that achieve zero customer lock-in, thus always providing users of identity systems the choice to move without the risk of losing the accumulated fruit of their labors/participation. Further, Identity Commons can assist efforts to create transparency in the operations of the identity systems and their associated services, so that users who are not as technically adept can feel secure in their actions.

We collaborate in several ways:

* Via the community, stewards and various working group mailing lists.
* Internet Identity Workshop the semi-annual major community event.
* Monthly TeleConferences of stewards and community members.
* On the community Wiki
* Community gatherings at events like RSA, Burton Group Catalyst and others.

Working Group Collaboration

The actual work of Identity Commons happens within the Working Groups. Each group chooses its own methods and mediums for collaboration, provided they are consistent with our values outlined in our Purpose And Principles. Additionally, IC will also provide some shared infrastructure as a service to Working Groups who want it. This infrastructure includes the creation of Wikis and mailing lists.

There is a collaboration stage that is critical prior to the formation of Working Groups. We recognize the importance of this stage, but we also realize that there is a cost to providing infrastructure for interactions that may not result in an actual working group. As a result, we encourage those who are proposing the formation of a new working group to start by using the Wiki and the community and stewards list for initial interactions.

OSIS is an example of a group that has been driving industry co-operation around interoperability of emerging implementations of standards.

Face-To-Face Meetups

We often meet at the Internet Identity Workshop, which happens twice a year and is itself an Identity Commons Working Group. The Identity Gang occasionally organizes dinners at events like RSA, Burton Group Catalyst and other conferences.

Working Groups

Each Active Working Group has a page on this Blog in the right side bar.  This page articulates what they are and how they work.

Working groups are the fundamental organizational unit of Identity Commons they have have tremendous autonomy — so much so that a Working Group can be a complete separate legal or social entity whose own charter or incorporation need not make any mention of Identity Commons.

The goal of Identity Commons is to foster a culture of and support collaboration amongst the range of individuals and communities interested in the emerging identity & social layer of the web.

Any group of people and/or organizations who want to work together towards a purpose consistent with the Purpose And Principles may form a Working Group, which will automatically become part of Identity Commons unless the Stewards Council raises a specific objection (the goal is a culture of inclusion).

To form a Working Group, the sponsors:

1. Use the Working Group Charter Template to publish a charter on this wiki outlining

  • Purposes and scope of work,
  • Qualifications and requirements for participation, if any,
  • Required licenses or any other restrictions on uses of the working group’s work product, if any.
  • Method(s) of making decisions together, as needed, and,
  • Any other agreements that seem necessary.
  • These agreements do not have to be in a tight, legal format. It is much more important that they are clear and straight forward, at least to the participants in the working group and to the Stewards Council. The Working Group Charter Template was developed for this purpose.

2.  Select one representative and one alternate to serve on the Stewards Council.

3. Send an email to the Stewards Mailing List.

The only purpose of the Stewards Council is to make organizational decisions for managing resources shared by all Working Groups in the Commons (such as the wiki). Decisions are made by a vote of the majority. The council consists solely of representatives from each Working Group. Its deliberative process is totally open and transparent, and anyone may participate. However, only Working Group representatives may vote on decisions.

The Identity Commons will support the community by allowing its name and brand to be used in conjunction with groups of individuals and/or organizations that organize themselves to pursue work that is consistent with Identity Commons Purpose And Principles.

It is important to note that the use of Identity Common’s brand does not imply that a working group is doing work on behalf of Identity Commons. Each working group is doing its own work and is responsible for the quality and reliability of its products. The use of the Identity Commons brand only means that the working group has organized and governed its work in a way that is consistent with our Purpose and Principles. Identity Commons warrants nothing further.

Should serious issues arise about the operation of a working group or its consistency with Identity Common’s Purpose And Principles, recognition of a working group can be revoked at the sole discretion of the Stewards Council as empowered by the formal legal board of Identity Commons. We hope this is a rare (or nonexistent) occurence.

Purpose and Principles

The following Purpose and Principles are the “core DNA” of Identity Commons as an organization. Identity Commons working groups agree to inherit these, i.e., each one is accomplishing a specialization of this Purpose, and each one is operating in accordance with a specialization of these Principles.


The purpose of Identity Commons is to support, facilitate, and promote the creation of an open identity layer for the Internet, one that maximizes control, convenience, and privacy for the individual while encouraging the development of healthy, interoperable communities.


  1. Self-Organization. Enable any working group to self-organize at any time, on any scale, in any form, around any activity consistent with the Purpose and Principles.
  2. Transparency. Fully and transparently disclose the Purpose and Principles of each working group, any requirement of participation, and any license or restriction of usage of its work product.
  3. Inclusion. Conduct deliberations and make decisions by bodies and methods that reasonably represent all relevant and affected parties.
  4. Empowerment. Vest authority, perform functions, and use resources in the smallest or most local part that includes all relevant and affected parties.
  5. Collaboration. Resolve conflict without resort to economic, legal, or other duress.
  6. Openness. Conduct, publish, and archive communications in a manner that facilitates open and trusted interactions within and across all working groups and the public Internet.
  7. Dogfooding. When feasible and appropriate, employ the work product of Identity Commons working groups to facilitate the operation and interaction of Identity Commons itself.

Short Version

  1. Self-organization
  2. Transparency
  3. Inclusion
  4. Empowerment
  5. Collaboration
  6. Openness
  7. Dogfooding

Contact Us

For more information contact: