I was recently asked to join a panel moderated by Schehrezade Davidson, CEO of Tricerion (a Ubisecure partner), discussing cyber for the vulnerable: are we doing enough? alongside fellow panellists Gavin Neate (Neatebox) and Zoe West (Picnic Bank).
The question immediately grabbed my attention. As VP Product Management, I’m continuously looking to advance ways to make our product inclusive, and this was a chance to discuss what we’ve learnt so far and, most importantly, to learn from others going through similar processes. For a product owner like myself, the core of the conversation is how to identify the need. With each release of our software, I am confident that we are improving quality, security and adding requested features and improvements. But what more can we do for the digitally vulnerable?
During the panel discussion we covered off ideas of how to identify a market. For example, Neatebox’s Welcome product let their initial users suggest which venue would they like to see the Welcome product at – a reverse sales model from dedicated users. And Picnic Bank have utilised multinational governmental research to identify under-serviced consumers in Brazil and in various African countries.
While “cyber” is a broad brushstroke, from the digital identity industry I sought to bring a few key learnings so far to the discussion. For example, how at the core of Ubisecure, we ensure that all identities are handled securely, using open standards to make our software, and standardised protocols to ensure only the essential information is given to a person or system requesting details of an end user (made possible with our Identity Broker Engine). We believe that this level of data minimisation is key to avoiding bias against vulnerable people. The information that a relying party needs to know is far too often extended by unnecessary attributes – like gender, actual age, or ability status – which can sadly lead to discrimination. We enable trusted interactions between the individual and the relying party, without sharing redundant information.
Throughout the panel, we agreed that future solutions should be collaborative – centred around shared interest to resolve these problems. That’s why we partner with organisations with similar values – like Tricerion’s accessible authentication solution. We also agreed that employing a diverse team would naturally lead to more inclusive solutions – a key reason why we sponsor Women in Identity. Each of us in the discussion had our own personal experiences, from helping an older family member with the “new online digital two-factor, multi-factor fun fest”, through to the frustration of why more developers aren’t using the tools readily available to empower the visually impaired to use their service. At the end of the conversation, we all agreed that it’s important to ask the question – and then listen.
Here at Ubisecure, we are listening. If there is something we can do to help, we want to understand and work towards the best solution. At the core of Identity and Access Management are all of us, as individuals. We are confident that if we listen, we can help to resolve some of the blockages to identity felt by those who are vulnerable. Secure identity online shouldn’t be off-limits to anyone who wishes to benefit from it. If you have an identity use case that you’d like to solve, I would like to encourage you to reach out to Ubisecure. We’d like to help.