[OpenID board] February 18, 2021 OpenID Board Call Minutes

Mike Jones Michael.Jones at microsoft.com
Mon Mar 29 18:37:31 UTC 2021

February 18, 2021 OpenID Board Call Minutes

Don Thibeau, Executive Director
Mike Jones
John Bradley
Nat Sakimura
Takao Kojima
Takehisa Shibata
Wesley Dunnington
Ashish Jain
George Fletcher
Bjorn Hjelm

Filip Verley
Arvind Kumar Garg

Mike Leszcz, OpenID Foundation
Tom Smedinghoff, Locke Lord LLP

1.       New Corporate Board Representative
The board welcomes Ashish Jain of eBay to the board.  We also thank Dale Olds of VMWare for his service.  John Bradley and Nat Sakimura were re-elected as individual board members.

2.       Executive Committee Appointments
The board unanimously approved the selection of officers for the executive committee.  The officers are Nat Sakimura as Chairman, Bjorn Hjelm as Vice-Chairman, John Bradley as Treasurer, Mike Jones as Secretary, and George Fletcher as Community Representative.

3.       Resolution Thanking Don Thibeau for his Service
The board unanimously approved the following resolution, proposed by Mike Jones and seconded by John, thanking Don for his service:


  1.  The OpenID Foundation board thanks Don Thibeau for his exemplary service to the OpenID Foundation and the worldwide identity community during his decade-long service as Executive Director.
  2.  The board looks forward to working with Don in his new role as Non-Executive Director with the OpenID Foundation.
  3.  The board appreciates Don’s ongoing commitment to the success of the OpenID Foundation, including continuing to participate in strategic decision-making, continuing to engage with key liaison partners, and mentoring the new Executive Director, when hired.

4.       Raising Membership Prices
The board unanimously approved the resolution raising membership prices.  We will blog about this.  We had planned to do this in early 2020 but held off then due to the uncertainties caused by the pandemic.  We agreed to implement the changes on April 1st.  The membership price changes are: Individual $25 → $50, Non-Profit $100 → $250, Corporate < 25 $500 → $1,000, Corporate 26-100 $3,500 → $5,000, Corporate > 100 $15,000 → $20,000.  The Sustaining membership price remains $50,000.  [After the meeting Mike Leszcz informed me that the renewal invoices for next quarter have already gone out with the existing prices - therefore we need to wait until July 1st for the price increases.]

5.       Certification Update
We have a lot of certifications:  581 certifications of 189 implementations.  This is a significant accomplishment.  As Don put it, the certification program is “fighting above its weight”.

We separated different certification listings at https://openid.net/certification/ onto different tabs, as requested by the FAPI working group.  We are working on moving the certification data from the WordPress page to a database, enabling customized displays of subsets of the results on different sites.

Don reminded us that we are continuing to operating without sufficient data to forecast future demand.  We continue working to drive demand through collaboration and workshops with partners worldwide.

We have been subsidizing 71% of our ongoing certification expenses, which is not sustainable.  The board unanimously voted to increase certification prices by 40% for Connect certifications and 100% for FAPI certifications.  The price increases are:  Connect Member $500 → $700, Connect Non-Member $2,500 → $3,500, FAPI Member $500 → $1,000, FAPI Non-Member $2,500 → $5,000.  It is projected that this will reduce our subsidy rate from 71% to 48%.  We will implement these changes on March 1st.  Mike Leszcz will draft a blog post about this.

6.       W3C Web Payments Security Interest Group (WPSIG)
John Bradley reported that WPSIG invited us to participate and potentially become a sponsor.  The FAPI working group appointed Nat as a liaison representative.  We will consider becoming a sponsoring organization, and therefore a co-chair.  FIDO is already a sponsor.  The browsers are participating in this work.  The board unanimously supported our participation.

7.       eKYC-IDA Request for Guidance on Registries
The eKYC-IDA working group requested guidance on whether the OpenID Foundation should operate registries.  Mike Jones said that when things are OpenID-specific, we could create OpenID registries.  That said, we have a good track record using IANA registries.  Mike pointed out that we have had success getting Area Director (AD) and working group sponsorship for RFCs establishing registries.  John reminded us that we ran registries a decade ago for Attribute Exchange.  John said that he’d prefer to continue using IANA registries.  George also agreed that he’d prefer to use IANA.  Nat wants to understand eKYC-IDA’s concerns before making a decision.  Mike pointed out that if we can offload this to IANA, that’s a whole process and infrastructure that we don’t have to run.  Nat took the action item to discuss this with the working group.

Asish asked clarifying questions about eKYC-IDA’s scope and generality.  Nat talked about the relationship between natural and legal persons and that eKYC-IDA covers both.  John said that the FIDO Identity Verification WG is more about remote documentation verification, which is different than eKYC-IDA.  Nat said that eKYC-IDA is being used by more than 1000 banks already.

8.       OpenID Foundation Outreach in 2021
Don reported on our plans to continue to use workshops to strategically reach out to potential partners.  These are intended to increase standards adoption and participation in working groups and in certification.  For FAPI, we’re using the UK model as a template to reach out to others, including Australia, Brazil, FDX (US & Canada), Bahrain, and others.  Engagement will require some resources.

Co-sponsorship of workshops is a new potential development in the landscape.  We’re working on developing benefits packages for workshop co-sponsors and sponsorship pricing.  The OpenID Foundation Japan is a potential partner in this endeavor.  These are educational workshops.  They will be open and technically focused, promoting adoption of the standards and use of certification.  The board unanimously supported utilizing this approach.

9.       Potential FAPI Trademark
There are no known impediments to us trademarking “Financial-Grade API”.  A trademark application would cost about $2,000.  Tom reports that we would review and update our website, having obtained the trademark, so that it’s not treated as a generic or descriptive mark.  Mike pointed out that we registered the OpenID trademark and we have a liberal usage policy; see https://openid.net/wordpress-content/uploads/2017/06/OIDF-Policy-Trademark-Usage-Policy-Final-6-19-2017.pdf.  Mike suggested that we obtain the trademark and have a similarly liberal usage policy.  John said that we should get there first, before others might try to register the term.  The board unanimously recommended that this be pursued, with oversight by the Executive Committee.

10.   Risk Factors to the Foundation
Don described risk factors to the Foundation in 2021.  One is budget sustainability, in light of the high subsidy costs for Certification.  Some working groups have seen decreased participation during the pandemic, including by chairs.  HEART is one working group that could use additional participation.  John reported that the R&E WG is refocusing their efforts, in cooperation with Internet2.

Another risk is the potential for WebID and/or IsLoggedIn to be incompatible with and disruptive to OpenID Connect.  George Fletcher, Vittorio Bertocci, and Tim Cappalli are spearheading our engagements with these efforts.

11.   Leadership Transition Plan
Don and Mike Leszcz continue planning for the leadership transition, particularly planning for when a new Executive Director is hired.  They are planning for an efficient and effective transition.

12.   Financial Update
Our financial picture is adequate and documented in the meeting materials.  The fee increases should help improve our financial outlook.

[ Don, Mike Leszcz, and Tom left the call at this point ]

13.   Search Committee Update
Bjorn Hjelm reported that we have four candidates moving to the interview stage.  We developed questions pertaining to the areas of expertise that we are seeking.  We defined a methodology for rating candidates.  We plan to have multiple search committee members interview the candidates online at the same time.  We may have second interviews with candidates where it makes sense.  We determined potential interview timeslots.  Bjorn is e-mailing candidates asking them to select timeslots.  He expects interviews to start within a week or two.  Bjorn has already had discussions with each of the candidates and so will leave the first round of interviews to other search committee members.  Each interviewer is expected to produce their own evaluation of the candidate.

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