The Edentiti Difference

Edentiti uses an approach to the supply of information from individuals to organisations that

  • reduces the cost and effort required by both organisations and individuals to supply information
  • reduces the risk associated with the leakage of information so protecting privacy
  • reduces the chances of identity and data theft
  • reduces the chances of inappropriate or incorrect information being used by organisations

Organisations collect information about people for contact, legal, and operational reasons. Often there is a considerable amount of information to be collected and organisations who expect to have an ongoing relationship with a person try to collect this information once and once only. Once a relationship is established the organisation generates information about the person in the form of a record of transactions with the person and they supply that information back to the person. In ongoing dealings with the person they check to see if the information they hold is correct. Typically they identify people with a number or code. The organisation takes on the responsibility of collecting, storing and verifying information about a person needed for their own purposes. They do this because traditionally this has been the best way to handle the problem.

Unfortunately there are many problems associated with this approach. Organisations take on a major burden in protecting, verifying and keeping information up to date. From the point of view of the person they have to do the same or similar things for every organisation they deal with and this can run into the hundreds if not thousands over a lifetime. Secondly they are unsure if the information held on them by the organisations is correct and finally they do not know what information is held on them.

Edentiti solves all these problems by changing the way information is stored and more importantly changing the way information is supplied to organisations. These changes result in lower costs to organisations, better information to organisations, less effort for individuals, greater security of data and in better protection of privacy.

It works in the following way:

When an individual wants to deal with an organisation the individual has a way of giving the organisation the information required in an electronic form – or of giving the organisation the right to access the latest information about the person when it is required. A typical example is when an organisation wants to know how to contact a person. Rather than the organisation looking up its own database of information it has permission to ask the individual electronically for their latest contact details. This can be done because through the Edentiti system each organisation establishes a relationship with the individual electronically and at the time of establishing the relationship the individual agrees to supply the organisation with certain information when it is required. In return the organisation promises to give the individual access to any information it stores on the individual.

The electronic system for the individual has certain characterisitics. Information about the individual can be changed but only if approved by the individual. Information once it is independently verified or if it is supplied by others cannot be changed without the permission of the other party. Information cannot be accessed without the permission of the individual.

What this means is that there is one authorative copy of information about a person but that this information is kept in different places. This is typically where the information was first generated. It means that there is no one number or identifier for a person because each time a relationship is established with an organisation a different identifier is used because it is a different agreement.

Using this approach organisations only have to worry about information they generate. They no longer need to keep other information about a person because they can request it whenever they need it. Similarly a person only has to keep information about themselves for which they are responsible – like their name and contact details. When they need information about themselves that is kept by an organisation they request the latest information. Data is protected and costs are reduced because there is one authorative information and this information can be distributed across many physical databases.

GreenHouse Rewards a System to Reduce Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases

A market is any place where the sellers of a particular good or service can meet with the buyers of that goods and service where there is a potential for a transaction to take place. The buyers must have something they can offer in exchange for there to be a transaction.

The difficulty with applying market forces to Public Goods (or in alleviating Public Bads ) is that – by definition – there is no market. For a market to exist there have to be buyers, sellers, goods for sale, currency for purchase, and ability for trades to occur freely. In many things – particularly Public Bads none of these exist.

Let us take the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

If we make the assumption that it is necessary for continued human existence on this planet for humans to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere until they are at an acceptable level then it is necessary to not only reduce emissions but to remove green house gases from the atmosphere. To remove gases – not just reduce the addition of gases – is going to require investment. If we also assume that the best way to direct the flow of investment funds is through some form of market mechanism then it is going to be necessary for us to invent a market that will achieve this purpose.

Carbon Credits have been invented to create a market in greenhouse emissions. In their current form they can only lead to the reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases not to the reducation in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. To achieve the purpose of a reduction of greenhouse gases a market mechanism has to be devised that will be ongoing and will reduce the level of greenhouse gases.

GreenHouse Rewards is one approach that will achieve this result.

As well as having a market for Carbon Credits let us also create a market for investment in technologies that will reduce greenhouse gases. That is, we invent a currency that can only be used for investment purposes in technologies, research and systems that will reduce greenhouse gases. We will call the currency GreenHouse Rewards. There will be an exchange rate conversion between Carbon Credits and GreenHouse Rewards and GreenHouse Rewards can be bought and sold on an open market. However, GreenHouse Rewards can only be used to invest in technologies and systems that remove greenhouse gases or stop them entering the atmosphere. There will be an independent body financed through GreenHouse Rewards to specify which systems can use GreenHouse Rewards.

Thus we have another market that complements and supplements Carbon Credits. The currency is GreenHouse Rewards. The sellers are the people who hold the Rewards and the buyers are the approved technologies and systems who invest in ways to reduce greenhouse gases. The sellers will make their choice on which technology to invest in and will presumably make a choice on the one that will give the greatest return for their investment. This may or may not be the technology that removes the most green house gases but that may be a consideration in the decision of the sellers. The point is that the investment is distributed through a market mechanism and will go towards a reduction in green house gases.

How do the GreenHouse Rewards get their value? They can come from any source but perhaps the most effective is a tax on processes that produce green house gases directly or from organisations like insurance companies who will benefit from a reduction in greenhouse gases. Thus if a herd of cows produces methane gas then the herd of cows will be taxed according to the amount of methane produced. If a power plant emits greenhouse gases then it will be taxed according the amount of the greenhouse gas emitted. If a car produces greenhouse gas it is taxed according to its emissions.

The third part of the system is who gets the Rewards and how they are distributed. For political reasons it is important that the Rewards initially go to the same nation or group of people who pay for the GreenHouse Rewards. Thus if an Indian coal plant produces greenhouse gases then the Indian people will receive the GreenHouse Rewards. Rewards could go to everyone in the population that pays the tax on an equal basis or they could go to those people who behave in ways that tend to reduce greenhouse gases. Thus people who do not own cars could get Rewards or people who walk to work or who do not commute could get Rewards or people whose household energy bills are less than average could get Rewards or ….. The mechanism for distributing Rewards will be determined through an independent body but people who change their behaviour in ways that reduce greenhouse gases will tend to get the most rewards.

GreenHouse Rewards will produce a pool of funds that has to be used on ways of removing greenhouse gases. It can be established independently in any jurisdiction or with any group and it is not necessarily bound by regular political or geographic boundaries. It could start within a small jurisdiction such as a single State and then others could join. It may even be economically beneficial as the taxes are used for investment purposes and it may be that these investments will produce significant returns as well as reduce greenhouse gases. The distribution of the investment will be determined in the marketplace for investment funds to be used for reducing greenhouse gases, the funds will come from those who produce greenhouse gases and the Rewards are distributed to those people whose behaviour tends to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Importantly the effect of the system can be measured and it can be adjusted to better meet the overall objective of reduction in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Comments on ACT Land Planning Legisla…

The ACT Government invited submissions on the new planning and development bill. A submission was sent in by the GCC. It appears in this blog because it seems that it has been “filed” by the Government and this is one place to give it a wider audience. It is also part of the theme of this blog dedicated as it is to empowering citizens though information and control of information.

The submission proposed that governments produce statistics to help citizens judge the results of government policies such as a Planning and Development Bill.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that “safe” electorates of whichever side of politics appear to receive less capital investment for community facilities as there is little point in trying to bribe an electorate when you are sure of the outcome – whether win or lose. One way of making the results of these electoral influences clear is to build into government reporting systems measures that reflect the results of expenditure.
The Gungahlin district of Canberra is in the one of the safest electorates for Labor in Australia. In the Territory Assembly Gungahlin is divided into two so making sure that even if Gungahlin residents were mobilised on local issues it would be unlikely to influence local election results. The result has been a policy of treating Gungahlin as a cash cow of new land sales with little money spent on community facilities and a policy of restricting commercial leases to obtain the higher prices for the few commercial leases made available.
The GCC has for some time proposed that a set of measures called “social sustainability” be formulated and reported on as part of the planning regime. During the formulation of the Bill submissions were invited and the GCC sent in a submission that addressed this issue.
What appeared to be a form letter was sent back saying they had received the submission and it would be considered. There was no invitation to explain further and it is highly unlikely that this modest low cost proposal was seriously considered beyond a cursory glance in an inbox somewhere. This is a typical response to suggestions made during so-called consultation processes. You go to a lot of trouble to make submissions, they are said to be considered but you get no indication that they have been considered, no reasons are given on why they are not taken up and you get no chance to debate the propositions. It would be interesting to know how many submission suggestions ever get taken up.

The submission that was sent follows.

The Planning and Development Bill does not address the issues that have resulted in poor planning outcomes in Gungahlin. The mechanics of how planning is done and how it can be made more efficient are addressed but the overall policy directions and strategic emphasis is quiet on the important principle of social equity that has directly lead to poor planning outcomes for Gungahlin. The bill has included new environmental sustainability principles yet surprisingly has not explicitly included the notion of social sustainability. However, a good framework for including these principles has been established with the inclusion of the concepts of zones and codes. The GCC believes the Bill can be amended to include social equity concepts and so reduce the probability of poor planning outcomes. Suggestions are made on how the Bill can be modified to make the Plan result in both environmental and social sustainability outcomes.

Include the concept of District Zones

The front cover of the Planning and Development Bill includes the five district zones of Belconnen, Gungahlin, Central, Tuggeranong and Woden Valley as a way to make sense of the plan. In the future other zones may be established but currently these district zones are an important part of the way residents view and understand the City. Planners already use this spatial division as part of their planning processes and the concept should be explicitly acknowledged in the City Plan with the addition of district zones.

Include the concept of Social Equity codes

In the same way that codes have been developed to specify width of roads, codes for land clearance, codes for water use, codes for signage so codes can be developed to measure social equity. These measures of social equity are goals not prescriptions and are ways of highlighting the inequities that are increasingly apparent to Gungahlin residents.
Social equity code measures can be based on district zones and on a population head count. They can include such things as open space sporting facilities per head of population, indoor recreation community facilities, police presence, school places, shopping facilities, places of employment, public transport availability, general practitioners and health workers etc.
Without this approach the districts that “have” will continue to attract community facilities while communities that are poor in facilities will continue to be unattractive to developers and planners. For example the GCC believes that without explicit social codes on employment Gungahlin will never get a viable sustainable employment base because the planners will not leave enough land for employment opportunities.
The codes do not mean that every district has to be the same. They could specify ranges that are acceptable and deficiencies in one area can be compensated with extra facilities in other areas but the aim will be to measure the overall social equity as represented by community facilities so that all districts of Canberra can be seen to share in the community wealth.

Changes to the Bill

The GCC believes it is important to get the principle of social equity incorporated in the Bill. One way of achieving this is through District Zones and Social Codes. The following are the few changes that need to be made to incorporate these concepts. The numbers refer to the paragraphs within the document.
47 add “equitable” after safe.
50 – in (1) (d) include the word district before areas.
50 – include a new section in (2) which says (a) identify broad district zones
51 (1) append to the end “and social equity”.
52 new section (3). Policy objectives must be consistent with social equity codes.
54 include new section after (4) A code that defines a social equity outcome for a district is a social code.
55 include districts before zones,
55 add (2) At least one territory map must show social codes.
99 change “and sustainable” to “sustainable and socially equitable”
It is unnecessary to define social codes in detail in the bill nor is it envisaged that the codes would ever become prescriptive. What is envisaged are that social inequities will become visible through the publication of the territory map. The correction of these inequities will be a political and social process in contrast to a regulatory prescriptive approach. It is envisaged that the social codes will be a guide to planners and help give direction to them. The objective of the inclusion of social codes and the production of a map showing the social codes will highlight areas of social inequity.

ACT Land Planning Bill

One of the problems we face with consumption is that those who have tend to get more. One of the reasons is, is that it makes economic sense to “sell” things to those who have money so we concentrate our sales efforts on those areas where there are already buyers. This also means that we tend to concentrate economic activity in centres so we get the rise of city centres, shopping centres and the like. When it comes to planning a city like Canberra it makes economic sense to put things together and to build a city heart. However, there are some unfortunate consequences of this and we get the problem of concentration of abundance.

What is happening in Canberra is that most development of economic activity facilities (shops and offices) is being concentrated in the Civic area – except for the airport development which is outside the control of the Canberra authorities and planning processes.

What this leads to is the rise of dormitory districts. Gungahlin has virtually no economic activity except for retail store outlets. While this may be tolerated with a good transport system it is unacceptable because economic activity also leads to the provision of other social and community facilities and activities. It makes sense to build gyms, swimming pools, theatres, sports centres etc in areas where people congregate (in contrast to live). What has happened in Gunghalin is that the district is being built with the highest population density but with few community facilities where facilities include employment opportunities.

The worst part of this process is that relatively high density of population leaves little space for the future development of community facilities.

If we leave everything to economic forces then most new facilities will be built within the Central areas of Canberra. We will find that centralisation will become the driving force. This is already apparent with the closure of local schools and the start of the demise of local shopping precincts.

What will happen – and it is already apparent – is that the Central area will get an abundance of facilities and the outer areas will be starved. The Central area in the long term will get too many facilities and it will start to suffer the problems of over crowding.

What controls can we put in place to stop this happening?

Regulations and decisions to occasionally move part of a government department to a particular area is unlikely to make much difference. There has to be a committment to make town centres truly viable in their own right. Unfortunately this does not seem to be current policy of the ACT Government and bureaucracies.

Electronic Petitions

Petition organisers have difficulty in the logistics of collecting signatures. They tend to rely on public places such as shopping precincts and events as places to collect signatures. This limits the people organising a petition and those who can sign to individuals who attend such places. In effect there are many people in the community who are prevented from participating in the petition process.
It would be desirable for petitioners to be able to collect signatures electronically so that people can vote either by phone, through the internet or through interactive TV. This would extend the range of people who could organise and who could sign.
It is possible to design an electronic petition system so that the recipients of the petition have confidence that the petitioners are genuine and that each one is unique. To make electronic petitions acceptable there needs to be a way for signatures to be collected reliably and this requires organisations who are regulated to conduct petitions.

Implementation

Electronic Petitions are technically possible but require a set of procedures and guidelines to ensure Parliament has confidence in the authenticity and validity of the petition and of the person’s signing the petition.

It is suggested that the Parliament does the following.

 

Register Organisations who wish to provide an electronic petition service. Registration will require the Organisations to offer petition services with a set of minimum characteristics.

 

The minimum characteristics of a petition system are:

 

  1. The organisation providing the infrastructure for electronic petitions be regulated and audited.
  2. The organisation or person initiating the petition be identifiable and contactable.

  3. Each person signing the petition can be identified and can be contacted to verify that they have signed.

  4. A person can only sign a petition once and the system be capable of detecting fraudulent multiple signatures

  5. A record of the petition and the electronic signature be kept for five years and be available for later scrutiny.

  6. The Registered Petition delivery organisation shall conduct random audits to verify the authenticity of electronic signatures and this be available to the Parliament.

  7. The system provide a variety of ways for petitioners to sign including the phone system.

  8. The system shall provide a way for Parliament to contact all petitioners electronically to verify their signatures.

 

 

Account Watcher Overview

Account Watcher helps individuals protect their own online financial and personal assets. It is a service that is an electronic agent that watches account activity and takes appropriate action when anomolous transactions or attempted transactions occur. It will be offered as a generic white label product by organisations who currently hold online assets for other people.Once a person gives data about themselves to an organisations they have few ways of protecting it. Account Watcher provides a tool to help people protect and monitor information about themselves after they have supplied it to others. This protection can take many forms and acts as a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, protection measures installed by organisations.

Currently account watching services are run by the organisations holding online assets. Account Watcher provides an independent third party watcher to complement current services. Account Watcher is needed because some organisations do a poor job of account watching, there is an increase in online fraud activity, organisations with good systems can use extra help, and because Account Watcher will increase the confidence individuals have with using Electronic Transactions.

Account Watcher facilities are difficult for individual organisations to implement and there is a strong business case for outsourcing these functions to specialised suppliers. Of equal importance is the ability of Account Watcher to Watch many accounts for the same person and through cross referencing detect more attempts at fraud. Because of the way Account Watcher is built and organised this is possible whereas it is difficult for organisations holding assets to offer an integrated service with other organisations. The innovations in Account Watcher are the integration, different ways of identifying individuals, concepts of sharing responsibility with others, individuals acting on behalf of organisations electronically and visual representations of electronic happenings. To our knowledge there are no other companies offering Account Watcher services in the way envisaged.

The initial target markets are second tier financial institutions with inadequate account watching facilities in their existing systems and who require account watcher services both for regulatory and marketing reasons.

Account Watcher builds on the existing Edentiti data entry and signatures services.

This project is a proof of concept implementation to prove that the concept is practical. The approach is an extension of an existing application where individuals take control of their own information before they give it to others.

The features for this proof of concept grant are:

  • Account Watcher functions of issuing of alerts and tracking information
  • Different methods for individuals to prove who they are when asking account watcher to perform actions on their behalf and to act as two factor authentication methods

Soft Tokens
Voice Authentication

  • The development of the concept of organisational identities where individuals act on behalf of organisations.
  • Visual representation of electronic approvals
  • Cooperative protection mechanisms where others are invited to share in the responsibility for protecting information
  • Ways of allowing the electronic equivalent of a signature witness where the signature is electronic
  • Ways of showing the real world representations of electronic approvals

Account Watcher Functions

There are many issues involved with the implementation of account watcher functions. The starting point will be the functions that are used by organisations to protect data. The major difficulties for Account Watcher are deciding what to watch for, how to give the end user control over what to watch for, how the end user can understand what is happening, how to reduce the amount of information so that it will be noticed, how to escalate investigations once there appears to be a problem, how to coordinate information across organisations in a privacy friendly and understandable way. Many of the issues are ones of human perception and how people organise their lives and their interactions with technology and a major part of the work involved with Account Watcher is understanding how people can use the Account Watcher Tool. For example, how can people use the system if they do not have direct browser access to the Internet but have to work through other communication media.

Proving who you are

Most Internet systems depend on passwords or secrets for people to prove who they are and to give authority for transactions. To successfully deploy Account Watcher it is believed that other authentication methods will be needed to cater for people who have difficulty remembering passwords or who do not have Internet access. Account Watcher believes voice authentication and/or soft tokens may help overcome this problem. Other schemes such as fingerprints on smart cards will also be considered if they become commercially available.

Organisational Identities

Account Watcher can watch organisation accounts just as well as accounts owned by individuals. The issue is how to designate that you are an officer of an organisation and wish to watch a company account. This part of the project will develop the idea of an individual acting in an account watcher role for organisational accounts.

Visual Representation of Electronic Actions

A human factor issue with electronic systems is how to represent electronic happenings in a way that people can understand and manipulate. This part of the project will explore different ways of visually representing such actions as approved transactions and electronic alerts.

Cooperative Protective Mechanisms

In the real world we invent ways of helping each other protect our property. We should have ways that people can help protect each other’s data in the electronic world. One simple approach is the concept of multiple signatures before an action is initiated. Other methods might ways of giving others “power of attorney” over some or all transactions in our name. The project will investigate electronic ways for people to help protect each other’s data. One possible way is to have an Account Watcher that watches other Account Watchers.

Witnessing Signatures

An important part of many signature systems is the concept of a witness. The project will attempt to answer and implement an electronic equivalent of a signature witness. The purpose of doing this is to make many legislative and regulatory functions immediately applicable to the electronic world. Many regulations are now written in terms of “in the presence of”. Can we have “in the presence of” with video or can we do it asynchronously.

Showing Electronic Approvals

A related question to Witnessing Signatures is how can an approval be recognised and displayed to others so that they will accept and understand that approval has been given.

Media Diversity through the back door

The new legislation on Media Ownership will result in a concentration of media ownership both in the old media and in the new media. However, there is an approach that requires no new legislation, can be implemented by regulation, does not fall foul of the ACCC, keeps within the spirit of free Trade agreements, will satisfy the National Party and at the same time has a good chance of making for Diversity of Media and Media Ownership.

The reason why large national and multinational organisations can take over local media providers is that they hold a competitive advantage because the marginal cost of content for yet another media outlet is close to zero. That is, once content is produced there is little cost in reusing it. Hence if a media outlet can get content for virtually nothing it has an advantage over a media outlet that has to pay for content. Organisations, whether they are local, national or international that produce local content do not have a competitive advantage if they produce local content. The advantages come when local content is reduced.

Hence the underlying problem is the lack of local content and lack of reporters and people who write and record the local stories. If we address this problem without distorting the operation of the market then we will get local content and a possible increase in local ownership of local media outlets.

One way of overcoming the problem is to subsidise the employment of local journalists and other local content providers.

The issues are how much money should be allocated, who should get the subsidies and where the money comes from. We want a system that does not interfere with the market but encourages local content, is self regulating and costs little to implement.

If the money for content subsidies came from all or part of the GST collected on all media sales (or an addition impost to the GST) within a local area and if that money and only that money was available to subsidise local content providers then the market would still be “fair” but local content would be encouraged. Subsidies would apply equally to global or national companies but make it likely for genuinely local organisations to flourish.

The allocation of the funds could be on the basis of the which postcodes workers satisfy (that is the places where their output is used). The effect of the subsidy will be to spread content providers ‘evenly’ throughout the land.

The system would be self regulating because the subsidies would depend on the total media sales in any market. The system would not fall foul of anyanti competitive or international rules because all media is treated the same as the subsidy is not based on ownership. That is, if global companies want to employ local people then they get the subsidy.

In this day of computerised accounting the cost of establishing and running such a system can be made quite low and it could be largely self policing as the subsidy distribution is on employment and would be made public and transparent. That is, competitors would watch each other and would have avenues of appeal. The money for distribution is on total media sales and total advertising and is unrelated to the subsidy. The money collected is based on consumers of media postcodes and is based on total sales not profit so it is easy to measure and to allocate to postcodes.

Reporters for whom a subsidy is applied give all the post codes they cover and they get a proportion of the funds available for the postcodes but adjusted for the number of other postcodes they cover. This information is made public and allocations to postcodes can be challenged.

The approach makes the media market more of a true market because it gets rid of the anti competitive advantage caused by the reuse of media content. It should appeal to the drys and wets. The potential losers are the national and international groups but they can still take advantage of the subsidy if they are prepared to employ local content providers.

ID Cards and Counter Terrorism

Counter Terrorism Summit

Panel Discussion: Examining the proposals for identity security

A question of ownership:

Putting the individual in control of the identification process.

By Dr Kevin Cox

Most people agree that there are benefits to having an ID card to establish their identity when the need arises. For example, when boarding an aircraft the majority are only too happy to give out everything they have on themselves as long as everyone else boarding the plane is subjected to the same scrutiny. Similarly, if I have an accident that lands me in hospital, I want the doctors to have a complete history of my medical records.

The privacy problems relating to ID cards do not come from the card itself, but from data collected about an individual by different organisations and then collated using the ID card number as the link between different sets of data.

The concern comes when data about ourselves is collected without our knowledge and is used for purposes of which we are unaware.

In the instance of catching the aeroplane, I want to know that the information I provide is used only for the screening purpose and that it is not stored elsewhere. After my stay in hospital, I do not want my medical records to be available to personnel in Social Security because the fact that I had any kind of ailment is none of their business.

The problem in fact, is in the way in which we view control of identification.

Turning ownership around

Instead of thinking of identification as a process where “authorities” give you ways of identifying people (such as an ID card linked to a central database), what if we turn the ownership around? What if the individual was equipped with the means to control their own identification?

In other words, what if you had the tools to identify yourself whenever you needed to and you were in charge of making the association between your “biometrics” or “secrets” so that others could know who you are with confidence.

Such a process could be set-up in a way that excluded anyone from creating a central file on you and all your activities.

In counter terrorism terms, it means giving people a way of proving they are unlikely to be a terrorist in a privacy-friendly way. This is because the individual keeps all their own data and only hands it out for assessment when about to indulge in some activity where it is important that they be checked.

Designing the system

The key to good information is to build systems where people are confident that the information about themselves is controlled, is “true” and cannot be used by others or other purposes. A solution is to keep information about an individual in separate silos that cannot be used or collated without the individual’s knowledge and approval. A system where the individual has full access to information about him or herself, and can check and challenge that information.

Such a system would achieve the need for a nationally agreed identification process without provoking the privacy concerns felt by many Australians. It would remove the possibility of random data trawling by organisations or agencies, and puts the individual back in control of their own data.

Counter terrorism authorities would still be able to use the normal processes of the law to access information with court orders and after due process, if they have a reasonable suspicion that an individual is a “person of interest”.

Conclusion

1. People want to retain control of the information about themselves;
2. People want to know who has information on them, what information

they have and whether it is correct;
3. People are happy to give out as much information as is needed to do a

particular activity, as long as it is only used for that activity.

We can do all these things if we turn the question of ownership around and think of the individual having control over data, as opposed to allowing public or private organisations to control and build dossiers that may be used against an individual’s interests.

We can build systems with these characteristics if we simply invert the data collection and storage paradigm from organisations holding data to the individual holding data then releasing it.

end

Dr Kevin Cox is an entrepreneur. Previously he has taught Information Systems in Canberra and Hong Kong, and worked with computers for various multinationals in Australia, the USA and Indonesia. Dr Cox can be contacted at kcox@fasfind.com

For more information relating to Dr Cox’s view on a privacy-friendly national ID card, see his article at On Line Opinion http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=3726

Edentiti Signatures

 

 

Authorising documents electronically

 

 

Throughout the last decade, organisations have embraced the Internet’s many possibilities. Email and the World Wide Web have become preferred channels for a raft of activities including lead generation, promotion, sales, customer service and customer communication. Immediacy, convenience and ease-of-use are often cited benefits by both vendors and their customers.

Yet there remains a catch. Until now, transactions such as job offers, school permission slips, direct debit authorisations, insurance papers or any other form of contract have meant a return to the printer, creating a hard copy of the document that needs to be signed and faxed or mailed.

 

The problem is these forms require a signature. They provide a means of verifying the identity of the person signing and establish an intention to be bound by the contents of the document – both of which are critical legal elements in any agreement.

 

Numerous approaches have arisen to solve this problem. Custom development and packaged ecommerce software are two alternatives, yet these are usually expensive, require a significant hardware infrastructure and demand specialised skills.

 

In recent years, the rise of electronic signatures combined with digital signatures has provided a simpler, more accessible solution. Far from being an electronic representation of a handwritten signature, electronic signatures rely on the individual proving who they are by some electronic means such as a voice print, a secret pin, or some device they possess. An electronic signature is combined with a digital signature to encrypt the agreement being signed so that the electronic form of the agreement cannot be repudiated..

 

Now recognised as a legal equivalent to the traditional pen-and-paper signature, electronic signatures combined with digital signatures offer a cost-effective, convenient way forward for anyone looking to negotiate or complete transactions over the Internet.

 

The Edentiti Difference

 

Edentiti is an organisation that specialises in secure online identity authentication. Our technology and processes are used to prove individual online identities, confirming that a person is who they say they are.

Edentiti Electronic Forms Signatures is a service that builds upon this core expertise and combines:

  • hosting of a form on our website

  • online identity authentication of all signatories to the document

  • a permanent audit trail of transactions relating to the signing of the document and

  • permanent digitally signed electronic storage of the final document.

The result is a legally binding agreement concluded with ease.

Using Edentiti, signatures are received in real time, allowing contracts to be acted upon immediately. Printing costs, couriers and postage are no longer a concern. Transcription errors are eliminated, as data need never be re-keyed.

Cost effective and convenient, Edentiti means conversations that begin online can now be concluded online.

 

Edentiti Electronic Forms Signatures at work

 

1. The contracting party uploads a consent form onto the Edentiti website.

2. The first time signatory registers with Edentiti, creating a permanent personal electronic identity. This then allows them to electronically sign forms with any vendor using Edentiti.

3. The signatory signs and electronically lodges the consent form.

4. Edentiti automatically digitally signs the document and places it in permanent storage.

5. Edentiti automatically notifies all relevant parties that the signature has been received and that the transaction is finalised.

 

Organisational Edentities

 

Proving that someone is who they say they are is relatively easy if you are dealing with individuals. When transacting with organisations however, the process becomes a little more complicated. How can you be sure that the person you are dealing with is authorised to conduct negotiations? What level of authority does he or she have?

 

Edentiti solves this problem by allowing the creation of “Organisational Edentities”. When a company or association establishes itself on the Edentiti system, an authorised representative creates a set of rules, assigning positions and authority levels for colleagues. Each position is allocated a set of tasks that they may carry out on behalf of the organisation. These tasks may range from viewing signed documents, to signing on behalf of the organisation, or maintaining and controlling forms for the organisation. The initial rules also establish which positions must be automatically informed when a document is signed.

 

Exceptionally Secure

 

Edentiti Electronic Forms Signatures is built for security. Firstly, it uses asymmetric cryptography in a public and private key pairing system, making signed documents impossible to change without detection. Private keys are stored with Edentiti and are only accessible to the owner through secure biometric or pin number processes. Finally, Edentiti logs the place, time and author of each transaction. The result is a system more secure than a simple handwritten signature, assuring all parties that any information may be viewed solely by the intended audience.

 

Legally Assured

 

Edentiti Electronic Forms Signatures provides online convenience and legal surety for companies and individuals looking to finalise transactions over the Internet. The process meets the all the major attributes of traditional written signatures, establishing:

  • exactly who signed the electronic document

  • when it was signed

  • the place it was signed and

  • the person’s intent to sign a document.

Using Edentiti, an electronic signature carries the same legal weight and is as valid and binding as a handwritten signature. It also happens to be a whole lot more convenient.

 

A system for all time

All forms signed with Edentiti Electronic Forms Signatures are kept in perpetuity, making Edentiti not just a convenient way to conclude transactions over the Internet, but also an inexpensive, secure storage option.

The system also offers a number of benefits to consumers. Edentiti makes it simple for previous users to log in using their existing “edentiti” when engaging in future transactions with any vendor. Just as importantly, at a time when consumers are increasingly wary about releasing personal information over the Internet, Edentiti offers comprehensive reporting that provides consumers with a complete record of the information that they have supplied through Edentiti, at any time.

 

About Edentiti

Headquartered in Canberra, Edentiti is an Australian technology company that is changing the way personal information is authenticated and disseminated online.

The company markets Edentiti, the online equivalent of Australia’s offline 100-Point identity check. Edentiti offers secure online identity verification, allowing individuals to prove that they are who they say they are. It provides a secure basis for online correspondence and transactions between individuals and government authorities, financial institutions, retailers or other any other organisation conducting business over the Internet. Edentiti “signatures” are viewed with the same legal status as traditional hard copy signatures.

Edentiti Electronic Forms Signatures is one of a number of secure identity- related solutions developed by the company.

 

Edentiti Pty Ltd
ABN: 67 111 307 361
401 Clunies Ross St, Acton ACT ,

 

Australia 2601

 

 

 

Ph: 02 6229 1790
Fax: 02 6229 1701

Event Registrations

Event registration is time-consuming, requires an eye for detail and is frequently a thankless task. While often only one aspect of a much larger agricultural or rural show, sporting event, or even a community festival, registration demands a high degree of accuracy if names and details are to be recorded correctly and if the events themselves are to run smoothly.

Money accompanying entry forms needs to be recorded and managed. If an event is cancelled or does not run, refunds need to be arranged. Moreover, these days, even annual events are likely to require the establishment of credit and/or debit card facilities.

Legal or insurance requirements may require receipt of a signed form from every entrant. Plus there may be pre-qualifications that need to be confirmed.

Fluctuations in registrations – such as the initial rush when entries are first opened, and the closing day scramble – push staff at critical times. Unfortunately, paper-based forms can be misplaced. Transcription errors can occur as information is typed into the event system, with the result that some entrants end up registered for the wrong event.

It’s not a simple task. If the event relies on volunteers or a committee that may change year-on-year, the lack of historical knowledge or experience can intensify the burden. And if there are multiple categories of registration within the event, the problems are compounded.

Fortunately, there is a way to reduce the registration burden, allowing event managers to concentrate on promoting and running their events, rather than being bogged down in the administration of forms.

The Edentiti Difference

Edentiti is an organisation that specialises in secure online identity authentication. Our technology and processes are used to prove individual online identities, confirming that a person is who they say they are. As a result, Edentiti enables individuals to create online signatures that have the same legal standing and validity as a paper-based contract.

The Edentiti Event Registration system draws on this core capability and extends the software, tailoring it to provide a complete online registration acceptance and management system for event organisers and committees.

The system works by providing the registration form on your event website. Entrants visit the site and electronically fill-in the form. Credit card facilities ensure payment is received along with the registration form. If required for indemnity or permissions a legally accepted electronic signature is lodged along with the completed form.

No follow-up data or re-keying of information is required. The registration form is immediately stored in a secure, permanent database accessible only to the event organizers and the entrant. Importantly, organizers can access Edentiti at any time to obtain up-to-date reports such as total registrations or income received.

The process is simple for the entrant, providing consistency from year to year, while significantly reducing administrative effort for the event manager.

Developed to meet the budget and resource constraints of the show and event industries, Edentiti is a low-cost approach to managing registration information that requires little outlay.

Edentiti Event Registration at work

 

Step 1: Event registration forms are designed and loaded onto the event web site

Step 2: Event organisers open registration. Participants register for events, sign and pay securely online

Step 3: Participants and organisers receive confirmation emails. Organisers access information to manage the event.

Step 4: If required event organisers move information to other systems.

Step 5: Event occurs

Step 6: Organisers post results with the participants so it is available in perpetuity.

Step 7: Records of participation are passed by either organisers or participants to other interested parties.

Complements manual or computerized event management systems

Organisations have widely differing existing systems to support events, ranging from manual systems to sophisticated tailor-made computerised event handling packages.

Edentiti can be made to integrate with any existing computerised system or alternatively it can provide computer support for manual systems.

This is possible because Edentiti Event Registration is a discrete operation, separate from the running of the overall event. Edentiti contains registration information only, with no need to access information in any other “back end” systems.

It simply collects the data, validates it, receives payments and then supplies this information in an appropriate form to the organisers. Typically, this will be a simple file showing the details of all paid entries. Depending on the organisation this file data is input into the existing system which operates independently of Data Entry.

A system that grows over time

 

As the number of events that choose to use Edentiti Event Registration grows, so too will the number of individuals with “edentities” or registration records on the system. Given all Edentiti records are kept in perpetuity, it becomes a simple matter for individuals to update their records or to lodge future registrations.

Privacy Assured

The Edentiti Event Registration system eases the registration process while assuring event organisers that each entry is authentic. Individual entrants also gain from the system. Designed for security, Edentiti negates concerns of identity theft or fraud, ensuring that the information provided is viewed solely by the intended audience. It also offers individuals the ability to access a complete record of the information that they have supplied, at any time.

About Edentiti

Headquartered in Canberra, Edentiti is an Australian technology company that is changing the way personal information is authenticated and disseminated online.

The company markets Edentiti, the online equivalent of Australia’s offline 100-Point identity check. Edentiti offers secure online identity verification, allowing individuals to prove that they are who they say they are. It provides a secure basis for online correspondence and transactions between individuals and government authorities, financial institutions, retailers or other any other organisation conducting business over the Internet. Edentiti authentication is so comprehensive that electronic Edentiti “signatures” are viewed with the same legal status as traditional hard copy signatures.

The company has also developed a number of identity- related solutions such as signing online forms electronically, secure online membership and event registration applications.

 

Edentiti Pty Ltd
ABN: 67 111 307 361
401 Clunies Ross St, Acton ACT ,

 

Australia 2601

 

 

 

Ph: 02 6229 1790
Fax: 02 6229 1701