GAIN POC - Overview
Overview of the Global Assured Identity Network (GAIN)
(September 2021) More than 150 co-authors released the GAIN Digital Trust whitepaper which called for the creation of a globally interoperable network for high-trust identity assurance. When the OpenID Foundation’s Chairman, Nat Sakimura, announced this international collaboration at the European Identity Conference, he described the authors’ shared vision as “An internet where people can trust one another.”
The paper itself was a “no logo, pro bono, open source” collaboration among the authors, including many members of the OpenID Foundation. It is supported by 5 non-profit organizations who subscribe to its central aims. Along with the OpenID Foundation, those organizations include:
- The Cloud Signature Consortium is committed to driving the standardization of highly secure and compliant digital signatures in the cloud.
- The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation enables people and businesses to make smarter, less costly, and more reliable decisions about whom to do business with through its Global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) System and partner network.
- The Institute of International Finance, in its mission to support the global financial industry, has pursued the Open Digital Trust Initiative with OIDF with the aim of creating a vibrant marketplace for Digital Trust Services to confirm identities and manage risk.
- The Open Identity Exchange is an identity community that seeks to develop the guidance and tools required to enable every individual to have a trusted, universally accepted identity.
Working Group Chairs
- Dima Postnikov
- Dr. Torsten Lodderstedt
- Joseph Heenan
- Mark Haine
- Elizabeth Garber
The most efficient way to monitor GAIN POC activity is by subscribing to the mailing list.
Note that only members that have signed a Participation Agreement are able to publish to the list. All other subscribers are “read-only”.
Enrollment in the POC is open to the public including organizations and individuals. If you are interested in becoming a member of the POC, please complete the registration form and sign the Participation Agreement.
A hardcopy of the Participation Agreement can be found here if digital signature does not work for you.
Frequently asked Questions
We invite any and all to join this initiative, whether as an organization that can feed high-trust identity information into the network (an Identity Information Provider) or as an organization that needs to verify identity information in order to provide services to end users (a Relying Party). Individuals and Observers are also welcome to join. The only prerequisites are that stakeholders use existing open standards and sign a Participation Agreement.
No. Participants will need to sign a Participation Agreement that enables interoperability testing (vs. working groups that create/update standards). The basic OIDF principles of openness and sharing continue to apply.
No. All are welcome. Although the GAIN white paper called upon the world’s Financial Institutions to step into the role of Identity Information Provider and catalyze the creation of this network, the co-authors are united in envisioning a network that is inclusive of other high-trust IIPs.
The editors of the GAIN white paper took on feedback that the term “Identity Provider” (or IDP) can conflate roles in identity ecosystems. In some cases, institutions who provision digital identities will connect to GAIN. In other cases, the institution that has verified identity information did not provide the identity itself. Instead, they are the custodians of private information – and they have invested in identity proofing and authentication capabilities. “Identity Information Provider” is a term (defined in ISO/IEC 24760 1) that better reflects the business role within the network.
Any highly trusted (usually regulated or government) entity can be an IIP if they have invested in identity proofing and the ability to authenticate a user in-session.
No. GAIN’s central goal is interoperability – across borders and across technological approaches. The Community Group will allow for various technical interfaces and protocols and demonstrate, within the POC, the use of OpenID connect in both a classic server-based architecture and within the Self-Issued alternative. The group also hopes to demonstrate other standardized interfaces, e.g. those based on the work of the W3C DID Working Group and other SSI and decentralized solutions.
Not really. GAIN’s central goal is interoperability. It is a network of networks, which does not prefer or presume a particular technical architecture. The Community Group will allow for various technical interfaces and protocols and demonstrate, within the POC, the use of OpenID connect in both a classic server-based architecture and within the Self-Issued alternative. The group also hopes to demonstrate other standardized interfaces, e.g. those based on the work of the W3C DID Working Group and other SSI and decentralized solutions.
Use of the word ‘federated’, though accurate in some respects, may obscure the breadth of the GAIN vision.
No. The GAIN Technical POC is a collaboration between like-minded stakeholders who seek to collaborate to test for global technical interoperability in a safe, open space. Meanwhile, the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) will continue to explore the non-technical requirements to make the GAIN concept work across borders, including the required contents of a Global Interoperability Framework. With that said, the GAIN concept may enable new commercial services or organizations to enter the marketplace.
GAIN related Media
GAIN Podcast Library
- Launching the Global Assured Identity Network – Ubisecure’s Let’s Talk About Digital Identity episode 52, ft. Elizabeth Garber, GAIN editor & POC co-chair
- How OpenID Connect Took Over the World – Ubisecure’s Let’s Talk About Digital Identity, episode 54 ft. Nat Sakimura, OpenID Chairman and GAIN editor
- Collaborating to Make Digital ID a Success – Ubisecure’s Let’s Talk About Digital Identity, episode 60 ft. Nick Mothershaw, OIX Head of Identity Strategy and GAIN co-author
- The Open Digital Trust Initiative – The IIF’s Finance, Regulation, Technology Podcast, episode 73, ft. GAIN co-authors, Rod Boothby and Don Thibeau
- Digital Identity: The Global Assured Identity Network – The IIF’s Finance, Regulation, Technology Podcast, episode 109, ft Gail Hodges, Executive Director of OpenID Foundation, and Elizabeth Garber, GAIN editor & POC co-chair
- Global Assured Identity Network – Identity Unlocked Podcast, ft. Nat Sakimura, OpenID Chairman and GAIN editor, and Torsten Lodderstedt, GAIN POC co-chair
- What’s Identity have to GAIN – State of Identity Podcast, ft GAIN co-authors Don Thibeau, Daniel Goldscheider, Anil Mahalaha, and Carl Hossner