REFEDS 45, held as part of the Internet2 TechEx in Denver, Colorado, US, was a smashing success. Prior to the event, the organizers had to move us to a larger room thanks to the overwhelming number of registrants. And during the event, at least half the room indicated this was their first REFEDS meeting. That was 50 new people there to learn more about REFEDS and the activities of Research and Education (R&E) federations around the world.
It was brilliant.
The day started, as it usually does, with an introduction to REFEDS itself and the items worked on by the community in 2022. It was a busy year! REFEDS published its first five-year Strategic Plan and published seven consultations (one of which is open until 15 January 2023 – have you commented on the MFA Profile v1.1 consultation?) One long-standing working group has successfully concluded: SIRTFI. The Assurance working group is seeing their chair, Jule Ziegler, step down as chair as she transitions to a new role outside of R&E and Kyle Lewis (Research Data) take over that role.
After the general updates, the meeting turned to activities of interest happening in the broader world. We heard a bit of what’s going on with SimpleSAMLphp and Identity Python, two software projects maintaining critical software components for our community, and information on activities in the Asia-Pacific region with an update from the Australia Access Federation and the iFIRExMAN project.
The afternoon was all about the big picture, specifically the big challenges and opportunities facing R&E federation today. Albert Wu facilitated a discussion on strong authentication, a term that’s poorly defined and yet potentially a game-changer for securing services. Heather Flanagan brought the room up to speed on how and when the changes coming to web browsers as the browser vendors seek to improve user privacy will impact federated identity services around the world. It was a lot to think about! And to wrap it all up, Chris Phillips (CANARIE), Matthew Economou (Research Data), and Nicole Roy (Internet2/InCommon) held a panel discussion on the future of federation and where changes in identity best practices and management tools are going to have a huge impact on R&E.
The slides from the meeting are available on the meeting page. If you have any questions or would like to continue any of the conversations started at REFEDS 45, please drop a note to the mailing list or in our Slack channel!