I missed a Public Sector Infrastructure Team meeting while I was on holiday. It seems there was quite a debate on an item on Secure Data Transfer. The presentation was therefore circulated with a pro-forma to capture Team Members' comments.
It seemed to me, as it often does when considering Government proposals, that we were talking tactics in the absence of an agreed strategy. I may be wrong, of course; I wasn't there. However, the presentation presented Secure Data Transfer as if it was strategy. Our goal, surely, must be to only share information through systems specifically designed for the purpose – i.e. the information remains in-situ, and those who have a right to see it have role based access to the requisite system based on verified identity and authentication.
That's clearly a way off for most of us, and secure data transfer technology must be part of the interim solution, but I think it's so important to identify what the vision is so you know where you're going, and can't kid yourself that you've arrived when you've only just completed the first leg of the journey.
Meantime, Computing picked-up the press release about the Microsoft Shared Learning Group's collaboration with Eduserv in the world's first implementation of Infocards.
Others talk about it; we get on and do it! But, seriously, this stuff is really important, and it's technology that's long overdue. William Heath also picked-up on our initiative in his excellent blog.
Being based upon federated identity management, our solution should be compatible with the DCSF (Department for Children, Schools and Families) EIAS (Employee Identity and Authentication Service) development, which seems to be coming-on nicely.
There is a meeting tomorrow, which I can't make, and a detailed guide was distributed for consideration. ContactPoint will be the first service to benefit from EIAS, but it's designed to be pan-Government. (There's also a competition to select a brand name, but we've missed the 16th April deadline for entries!)
Then there's the news that the British Banking Association's new code could make victims liable for fraud.
In some respects that's understandable, really, except that most people really don't understand the issues involved, or what precautions to take. As I have repeatedly said, Government has a responsibility to inform, advise and "walk the walk" in order to win the public's trust in technology.
Today I worked from home – finished clearing my correspondence backlog, drafted my presentation for an upcoming Microsoft UK Architects' Conference, read all the short-listed entries for this year's Government Computing Awards to prepare for my participation in tomorrow's Judging Panel, and started sorting-out my Socitm files. Oh – and CIO Connect magazine is going to do a bit about me and my TVR in its "Offline" section, so I answered a few questions for that.