The Forum on Law of Identity and Personal Data (aka "Legal Forum" or "ID-Legal") was chartered by unanimous vote of the ID Commons, Inc Stewards in July, 2013 following the re-initialization of ID Common's legal working group at the spring, 2013 IIW in Mountain View, CA.
The Purpose of the Legal Work Group is to promote information sharing, best practices, innovation and knowledge generation related to identity or personal data and the law. However, the group shall not engage in the practice of law directly. The activities of the group are intended to increase opportunities for the exchange of ideas and the creation of cross-domain or interdisciplinary approaches to identity and personal data systems or services. To that end, interplay and collaboration among and between legal, business and technical communities involved in innovating systems or services related to identity will be encouraged by this group. The group may elect to collaborate with bar associations or other organizations on events or projects, in accordance with applicable requirements and policies of the ID Commons.
For more information on the Legal Forum, check out our web page and blog posts.
The ID Commons recent bylaws update to permit more flexible yet still formal entities called "Autonomous Councils" represents a significant legal and governance innovations with potentially valuable applications for the high techn sector and innovation economy.
The overhead of complexity, cost and other constraints related to set up and maintenance of multistakeholder consoftia can be significant. Yet in some cases, a special interst members group or other working group may be too informal and deeply embedded within the business, legal and operating context of their host organizations to provide an adequate home for multiparty collaborations seeking to focus on starting a new innovation. Whether the innovation is open source software, a technical standard, an industry pilot or other multistakeholder collaboration, there is a need for a middle-ground between a stand-alone incorproated trade association or other consortia on the hand and a committee or other working group of a parent organization on the other hand.
The Autonomous Council was carefully designed to provide exactly such a third space. While representing many novel characteristics, notably the right of such councils to spin-off upon their own decision, the underlying approach is premised on a successful model from the banking and payment network industry. More information on this approach, including the wording of the new ID Commons bylaws and explanations of the financial sector lineage, is published on special update brief posted at the eCitizen.MIT.edu research blog.
The ID Commons Legal Forum is currently planning a future online dicussion on the topic of Autonomous Councils and their potential use in the health and medicine research fields. Please reach out directly with your questions or comments.