The Tao Of Attributes    (41W2)

Introduction    (41X3)

GSA hosted a special two day workshop entitled "The Tao of Attributes", at NIH in Washington D.C. on September 28 and 29th, 2009.    (41WS)

Tao of Attributes Workshop Link    (41XU)

The intent of the workshop was to begin to explore the issues associated with the effective use of attributes in Internet identity activities. A set of federal use cases drove discussions that looked at the requirements in areas such as attribute aggregation from multiple sources, attribute metadata, rich attribute query languages, sources of authority schema management, LOA of attributes, user interfaces for privacy management, legal and policy issues with attribute exchanges, and other areas. The workshop was practical rather than theoretical and might have set specific directions and further activities into motion.    (41WT)

Limiting the use cases to a carefully selected group of federal agency needs reduces a broad and complex set of problems to a more manageable, if still quite difficult set of requirements. It also provides "anchor tenant" legitimacy and urgency, and will inform the broader set of requirements for general attribute exchanges in the Internet.    (41WU)

Still, the landscape to be explored is quite large, and this workshop may generate additional workshops to drill down into parts of the problem space as structured by this initial activity. Possible outcomes of this workshop include:    (41WZ)

Use cases were sought from agencies before the workshop. It was expected that use cases would include instances addressing first responder needs to aggregate specific attributes from multiple sources, in real time, management of agency-researcher grants and relationships, privacy-preserving but community scoped input processes, citizen web site accessability issues, SEVIS and others.    (41WW)

The format of the workshop was intended to foster its practical focus by having the primary discussions take place among a relatively small group of national experts in Internet identity and attributes drawn from academic, corporate and government sectors. A larger group of participants, including federal stakeholders who submitted use cases, representatives of sectors with potential commercial interests in an "attribute ecosystem", analysts, etc were on site and engaged frequently with the primary discussants. In addition, the workshop was webcasted for those interested, and on-line feedback mechanisms were employed.    (41WX)

The primary discussants were drafted from among the best and brightest in key areas, including experts in Internet identity, directories, attributes and schemas, human interface, and public policy.    (41WY)

Questions about this Wiki?    (41WO)

AlexKoudry    (41WC)