FIDO Alliance Appoints New Leadership For 2015

final-fido-logo-yellowThe Fast Identification Online (FIDO) Alliance announced today the results of its annual officer election. Dustin Ingalls of Microsoft has been appointed as the consortium’s new presidents while Brett McDowell has been elected to the position of FIDO’s first executive director.

Outgoing FIDO president Michael Barrett is being honored as chairman emeritus.

Along with those two major changes, a number of officers have been re-elected to the positions they held in 2014. Bill Smith from PayPal retains his title of secretary, Lenovo’s Joe Pennisi is still the Alliance’s treasurer and Sampath Srinivas of Google will continue to be vice president.

The FIDO Alliance launched in early 2013 and was subject to immediate popularity and very quick growth. Dedicated to replacing the password with strong online authentication methods the organization has developed specifications for U2F (universal second factor) and UAF (universal authentication factor). In December, FIDO dealt what it described as the killing blow to passwords with the publication the final 1.0 draft of its specifications.

“The crescendo of activity in 2014 around credential theft and payment fraud has resulted in an ecosystem that is clamoring for a stronger solution that’s easy to use,” says new FIDO Alliance President Dustin Ingalls. “The diversity and broad representation present in the FIDO Alliance today make it the frontrunner to deliver a broad industry solution to these issues.”

Brett McDowell adds: “I see 2015 as the year when FIDO Alliance transitions from simply developing specifications and advocating awareness to an organization that is taking a proactive role in helping to shepherd the inevitable shift in the industry from single-factor password security to simpler, stronger authentication.”

“All the signs point to a dramatic increase in the adoption of biometrics and other innovations that will be enabled for secure, privacy-respecting interoperation through compliance to FIDO standards,” he concludes.

In 2015 the Alliance plans to expand the standards for strong authentication, particularly in regards to its U2F specifications. Expect announcements later this year for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and NFC extension support.