By: Andre Boysen, CIO, SecureKey

It’s hard to believe that an entire year has passed since we last joined the fantastic organizers and participants at IdentityNORTH Toronto, but this year’s event is quickly approaching!

Looking back on this year, I’m so proud of the accomplishments that SecureKey and all our collaborators around the world have been able to achieve together as we work toward better solutions for digital identity. From exciting announcements with Hyperledger and Intel, to welcoming new network members like Sun Life Financial, our Verified.Me service is making excellent strides towards bringing to market a solution to many of the current challenges facing identity in the digital age.

Beyond the development of Verified.Me, there have been promising developments that are causing a sea change in the value consumers and businesses place on data integrity and digital identity. Dr. Ann Cavoukian launched Global Privacy and Security by Design, bringing together some of Canada’s biggest industry leaders to create a world where privacy and security coexist. Estonia and Singapore made impressive advancements in true digital economies. But perhaps the most impactful change to data that occurred this year was the implementation of the European Union’s GDPR legislation, which will levy real fines against companies that mishandle consumer data, force organizations to reconsider how they protect consumer data and allow consumers the right to be digitally forgotten. An extremely promising year, indeed.

Riding on the coattails of this year, I warmly extend an invitation for you to join us at IdentityNORTH 2018 in Toronto, from June 19-20, 2018.

On a personal note, I’ll be participating in and moderating several sessions this year, including Higher Education Meets Higher Standards for Security and Efficiency with CANARIECANARIE has been recognized as a leader in providing students and research staff with secure privacy-protected access to a growing number of online services and resources, both here in Canada and around the world. I’ll be talking with CANARIE’s Peter Wilenius about how a greater ability for student and schools to securely share information with service providers can help them realize the great potential of a truly interconnected research and education system.

Another session I will be moderating is Exploring the Convergence of Digital Identity and Payments, alongside representatives from Ingenico Group Canada and Prodigy Ventures. We’ll be discussing how to enable secure payments and trustworthy identity verification on the Internet of Things devices that are increasingly becoming an integral part of our daily lives (and showing off a really cool customer experience demo involving charitable donations!).

Lastly, I’ll be joining our colleagues at Sun Life Financial for their Staying Ahead of the Curve with Blockchain talkwhere the people behind the many innovations at Sun Life will be discussing how they’re leveraging distributed ledger technologies to improve the user experience for their customers and deliver new offerings that will keep them as a service provider of choice for years to come.

IdentityNORTH is always a high point in the year for innovation, collaboration, knowledge-sharing and discussion around how to improve privacy and security for businesses and the customers they serve. I hope you’ll join us on the 19th and 20th at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre (the former Maple Leaf Gardens) to take part in the many great sessions on this year’s agenda.