International Women’s Day was celebrated earlier this month. I was fortunate to participate in a number of events highlighting some incredible and inspiring wahine toa. Each of these events held a poignant balance between celebrating triumphs and recognising that collectively we still have a long way to go, and that there is action required from all of us to accelerate the journey to equality for everyone.
In the past few days we have seen a dramatic escalation in the impact of COVID-19, and a range of wide-reaching and prudent measures to ‘flatten the curve’ in Aotearoa/New Zealand. While we are all adapting our family and workplace routines, we must not lose sight of the systemic imbalances that result in inequality and exclusion, and that may even be exacerbated with physical isolation measures.
It’s in these challenges that there is opportunity for us to apply our tech skills and tools for the good of all.
There are some very practical things you and your organisation can do to support inclusion, equality and community connectivity. Shadowtech is an amazing TechWomen initiative to connect young women in high school (years 9-11) with Tech mentors, allowing them to experience a day in the life of an IT professional. In the last few years the programme has been operating in Dunedin, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Hamilton and Auckland. Conspicuously absent is Wellington – and this is a specific appeal to people and organisations in our Capital city to get behind the initiative through financial support and mentorship. While the programme will need to adapt around COVID-19 measures, the fundamentals of mentorship remain the same whether that is facilitated face to face or online. You can read more about ShadowTech and how to get involved here.
The global Women in Identity group motto is ‘Digital identity solutions built for everyone are built by everyone’. There’s a huge amount of wisdom and insight packed into such a simple phrase, and the Women in Identity movement is providing some excellent examples of meaningful action, including active mentoring programmes, an amazing speaker bureau and a wonderfully supportive co-keynote concept designed to grow and amplify a diversity of voices. We’re delighted to support the efforts of WiD in establishing an Aotearoa/New Zealand presence. While plans for a traditional meetup-style event in Wellington will need to be adapted, there is still plenty of opportunity to add your voice and build momentum. Women in Identity is free to join, or you can contact us if you’d like to find out more.
Addressing some of society’s biggest challenges requires collaboration, a shared purpose and an honest and transparent exploration of new ideas and models. In the same way the opportunity afforded to us through emerging technologies and mindsets can unlock the potential of Digital Identity. We’re now moving from the theory of ‘what we know’ to an action plan of ‘what we do’:
- We know that we can develop human and community-centred solutions for our online interactions.
- We know that we can increase transparency and improve privacy and control.
- We know that we can improve security through trusted infrastructure and a minimisation of data flows.
- We know that we can improve people’s online experience and remove frictions.
- We know that we can significantly reduce organisational costs through principle-based, trustworthy collaboration.
Over the next six weeks we will be working with members to define our Digital Identity NZ action plan for the next 12-18 months. We will be seeking your input and guidance on the key challenges and opportunities you see, and agreeing on an action plan that will enable meaningful, collaborative action. While we will be using structured sessions and surveys to formulate our action plan, you can share your thoughts and inputs to that process at any time.
In planning our activities over the coming months we continue to monitor and put into practice Ministry of Health guidelines regarding COVID-19. Our immediate approach is to adopt a ‘digital first’ mindset – taking advantage of the technology available to us to conduct meetings via video conference and webinar platforms where it is possible to do so. If you have any questions or concerns, or indeed advice or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
News and Reports
Strong passwords are an oxymoron – difficult to guess, but also difficult to remember, especially when you have dozens of them. Katie Kenny from Stuff explores the rise of biometrics as an alternative.
Internet NZ Commercial Director and Chair of Digital Identity NZ David Morrison recently shared his thoughts on digital identity with CIO magazine.
Trust is fundamental in identity, but who can we trust to look after our best interests? Data Trusts may be a practical way forward.
Entersekt have produced an infographic on the history of authentication through the ages.
Do we need a hippocratic oath for data science?
Identity as a utility service is gaining traction in Australia, with eftpos Australia seeking to expand its payments infrastructure to the provision of identity services.
The role of Government in facilitating the introduction of new technology is a delicate one. The UK Verify system is testament to that, and will undoubtedly offer some lessons for us in New Zealand.
Digital driver licenses are proving popular in NSW, hitting over a million downloads (19% of license holders)
The Australian Digital Transformation Agency is planning to trial facial recognition as part of its myGovID service
Amazon is planning to make it’s ‘Go’ technology available to other retailers, dubbing it ‘Just walk out’. The technology is clever, including the use of ceiling cameras and shelf weight sensors. However, as with a number of clever technologies it has implications for personal information and privacy.
Techweek is on a mission to find out how connected Kiwis are. Help them with their research by telling them how many connected devices you have in your household.
Building trust in technology is incredibly important. The AI Forum are leading the way and have released a set of principles to guide the trustworthy use of AI in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Tech Alliance Events and Infromation
Techweek2020, New Zealand’s biggest festival of tech, will take place from 18 to 24 May. Mark the dates in your diary so that you can take part in the hundreds of events across the country. Event submissions will be open soon.