Nov 13th Kids Online: Balancing Safety and Fun – (un)confernece about the issues and best practices

I am working with Joi Podgorny and Denise Tayloe on this day following the Internet Identity Workshop Nov 10-12 in Mountain View, CA. You can register here on Event Brite. We are bringing together a range of practitioners and experts to work collaboratively for a day together.

Our goal is to leave the day with greater clarity around some core best practices and have next steps as an industry to help kids being safer online.

All of the attendees will make up the agenda together at the event itself. We do welcome ideas and suggestions for topics you hope get discussed the day of the event.

This is a day to dive in and work collaboratively on these kinds issues around kids online:

  • Who and what are we trying to protect digital kids from?
  • Are there standards and norms in practice that we can leverage to formalize best practices for industry?
  • Kids fake their ages to gain access to online content, do we as an industry care? If so, then?
  • How do we create best practices that are flexible based on age range, content and willingness for parental involvement by industry or the child?
  • How can we create cyber spaces that balance interesting and fun with safety?
  • What is the role of government in either defining or supporting best practices?

Who this (un) conference is for:

  • Online Community/Virtual World Managers
  • Policy officers and Security Officers at large companies
  • Consultants in the kids online space
  • Identity technologists
  • State Attorney Generals
  • Legislative Staffers
  • Parents and Kids
  • Academics in the field
  • Bloggers

Adult attendees of the conference are welcome to bring their children ages 10-25 to particiapte in the conversations. There will not be child care, this is about talking about the issues with the constituents we are talking about present.

(Kid’s Online is an Identity Commons Action Group)

This week the Internet Safety Task Force had a meeting this past week. dana boyd has a post about it happening here.

Here are some reports from the blogosphere worth reading:

Harry Lewis – More on Internet Safety
I was pretty shaken by the end of the first day of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force yesterday. I had a meeting right afterwards, which I entered by yelping a primal scream.

Benlog – Children vs. Anonymity
The day started with a few words from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal….I think the only statement I agree with is that parents should be empowered.

Surveill@nce St@te – State AGs Push Online Child Safety Snake Oil
Won’t someone think of the children?
Given the intense political pressure to do something about child safety online, and a complete lack of proven, peer-reviewed, and abuse-resistant technologies available on the market, a number of private companies have stepped in to fill the void…

Braden Cox – The Safety Chase
Discussions focused mostly on what technical solutions exist for addressing the perceived lack of online safety on social networking websites. But overall there’s still a need to connect the most important dot—do proposed solutions actually make children safer?

Jim Kertetter – Help line in the works for cyberbullying victims
Perhaps the biggest reason for that is students’ behavior: A recent survey of high school students done by the Teenangels found 70 percent of the kids surveyed share passwords with other people. The reasons are often innocuous, such as asking someone to check their e-mail for them, or to find a homework assignment for them. Often, teens in relationships will share passwords to assure one another they’re being faithful.

On Identity and Collaboration

The article that Martin Richards was working about OpenID at the last IIW was finally published in Infomation Week One Web, One WebID. It summarized the confusion in the market well. My dad – who knows nothing about the space summarized the article well (the capital letters are his)

From the article it looks like there is quite a way to go before there is a more secure system that is both WIDELY adopted and VERY secure to everybody’s satisfaction.

I say in the article I am ever optimistic about things becoming clear and harmonized

All of these plans will one day fit together, says Kaliya Hamlin, a freelance identity consultant who organizes the biannual [sic] Internet Identity Workshop and maintains a primary hub for the identity community. At the moment, however, at least to the layman, they form a bewildering jigsaw with lots of unconnected pieces and no unifying design.

I also know that markets and communities are not things you control. We can bring order to this space and I hope to continue to do so with my efforts in this community.

I was thinking about about the evolution of the community and the world-view/cultural differences that we have among us. I went back to surf through some of what Meg Wheatly had online to see if there was something that captured the essence of the model of organization we are working with. I thought with her experience coming from the corporate sector and doing organizational development work in large fortune 500 companies and her research into now living systems work she might have some words that articulate the essence of what we are doing with this model.

These few lines particularly jumped out at me form this interview with her:

The real eye-opener for me was to realize how control and order were two different things, and that you could have order without control… To understand order that arises, rather than order that is imposed through direction and control — that is a very significant new path.

I realized that was what we were doing with the Identity Commons organizational model – supporting the emergence of order rather then trying to control what happens. The question we are trying to solve how to have an identity layer/framework/social norms/standards for the internet and other digital systems is a HUGE and complex problem. It has not been solved by control and won’t be. However creating a space for order and clarity to emerge – for self organizing around different ideas, ways of doing things – and resourcing collaboration, cooperation and harmonization efforts WILL get us there faster then not having that space.

The process of articulating to the community – what you want to do – and how you want to do it – this creates accountability. This helps us see ourselves and what is going on in the community through the simple light weight formal processes and with these processes order emerges.

From the conversation today I articulated some further clarity. The whole point of having a loose collaborative space with a shared brand is to support stuff innovating not having the big corporations playing in the space approve every use of the Brand.

It is to support ideas bubbling and percolating and not feeling like one group or company needs to control that other group over there does or might do in the name of the organization.

In a group/organization agreeing to participate in Identity Commons, that group is making a commitment to collaborate and share information. Agreeing to participate one does not have to “AGREE” to all uses of the brand. In fact THE BRAND IS ABOUT THE COMMITMENT TO COLLABORATION and sharing along with a “meta’ out there future vision we do agree on but as we struggle to get there we KNOW we will might not agree. What we do agree on is a shared set of VALUES that are striving to be part of the technologies being built along with a recognition that as technologists that there is a scope and dimension of identity that goes well beyond “tech” because it is about people and our social nature.

Identity Commons was founded to provide this kind of support for a community of collaborating projects across a range of disciplines and not to be an industry trade association or a technical standards body.

Open Standards Forum Next week

Identity Commons is an event supporter of the OASIS Open Standards Forum:Security Challenges for the Information Society next week Oct 1-3 in the UK.

From their website:

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are a major enabler of the creation, distribution, diffusion, use, and manipulation of information and have a major impact on our quality of life, our working conditions and the overall competitiveness of our industries and services. In today’s society, information and information access plays a central role, economically, socially and individually.

However, open exchange of information and access to online services also pose challenges and threats. Service providers want to authenticate the identity of individuals requesting access, and determine the resources and services they are entitled to access. Users want their identity and personal data and privacy to be protected adequately, and the confidentiality of sensitive data they are submitting to be respected.

In today’s Internet and in many large private network infrastructures, heterogeneity and diversity are the rule rather than the exception. Security infrastructures need open standards and interoperability to scale to the huge deployments that are being rolled out. Many security standards from OASIS and other organizations support a model where identity authentication, access control, digital signature processing, encryption and key management are provided as services that can be distributed and shared.

I look forward to hearing what comes out of this event.