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K(NO)W Identity Conference: Q&A with One World Identity CEO Travis Jarae


One World Identity will be hosting its inaugural K(NO)W Identity Conference May 15-17 in Washington D.C., which will bring together leaders across all industries and backgrounds to help combat prominent identity challenges of the 21st century.

The conference will attract some of the most reputable identity experts and thought leaders for the opportunity to learn, network and collaborate on key identity-related issues. Attendees will be able to connect with key stakeholders from the companies, educational institutions, government agencies, and development organizations that are defining the future of identity.

The K(NO)W Identity Conference will feature keynote addresses from none other than whistleblower Edward Snowden, along with over 150 panel and session speakers from organizations including the World Bank, IBM, Google, MorphoTrust, NIST, Payfone and GSMA.

BiometricUpdate.com had the opportunity to discuss the details of the upcoming K(NO)W Identity Conference, the main challenges of identity verification that the industry is facing, and the lessons he learned from his role as head of Google’s identity verification, with One World Identity CEO and founder, Travis Jarae.

What are some of the key topics of discussion that will be explored at K(NO)W Identity Conference 2017?

Travis Jarae: Identity is a truly remarkable topic, as it touches on so many aspects of our daily lives. With the K(NO)W Identity Conference we hope to address it in a thorough, all-encompassing manner, whether it’s a conversation around consumer privacy and security, e-commerce fraud detection, or the latest in biometric authentication technology. Our hope is that by bringing together all of the diverse participants of the identity industry under one roof, we can both rekindle old conversations, and spark new ones.

Can you highlight some of the key speakers of the event and what they will be presenting on?

The conference kicks off with a fireside chat between Manoush Zomorodi and Edward Snowden, discussing identity privacy and security challenges in the age of the internet. We end the first day with a talk between Ron Atzmon and Carmi Gillon, the former head of the Israeli Shin bet. On day two, we will kick things off with Air Force CTO Frank Konieczny and close the day with Consult Hyperion’s David Birch. Of course, these are only the keynotes — the entire event is packed with amazing speakers.

What would you say are some of the major takeaways of the event?

Both One World Identity and the K(NO)W Identity Conference were born from a vision of breaking down the silos that exist today within the identity industry, and encouraging cross-industry collaboration that we believe to be crucial. Whether in healthcare or payments, government or private industry, the challenges of building identity products and services that are secure, scalable and useful are remarkably similar. If there is one takeaway from our event, I hope it’s that the next big breakthrough in identity will result from these collaborative efforts.

What are some of the main challenges of identity verification that the industry is currently facing?

Inclusion is certainly one of the main challenges we face with regard to identity verification in 2017. Over 80 percent of the U.S. population carries smartphones with a spectacular array of sensors, and yet many of these same individuals are unable to open a bank account because they might lack the documents required to prove their identity. Leveraging the technology that is already in the hands of consumers in more effective and creative ways will go a long way towards addressing this inclusion gap.

What are some major lessons you learned from your former role as Global Head of Identity Verification at Google?

Going from Wall Street to Silicon Valley taught me a number of very important lessons. First, regardless of how many smart people are in a room working on developing solutions, technology can and will enable or disable your efforts. Second, not all solutions need technology — most need a bit of common sense and humanity. Third, always be prepared to be contradicted.

My time running the identity verification program was mostly spent figuring out how to verify the next billion users. Through the process of discovery — and, not coincidentally, bugging enough people to tell me what they were working on — it dawned on me that everyone is building a solution that solves direct needs within their own separate silos. My team was so focused on building identity solutions for financial services that we didn’t think a team with similar problems in healthcare may have already solved our problem. As a result of these lessons learned, we created One World Identity and gave it the mission to facilitate common language, promote cross-sector collaboration, and connect both experts and consumers to valuable resources.

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