The inaugural Authenticate conference will officially be a virtual event. The FIDO Alliance originally scheduled the conference for the first weekend of June in Seattle, but pushed it back to November in the hopes that the event would still be able to take place in person.
Unfortunately, doing so is no longer feasible due to COVID-19. It is increasingly unlikely that the pandemic will be under control by the fall, which means that in-person events present a significant safety hazard to organizers, guests, and anyone else in the Seattle area.
“While it’s disappointing we cannot be together for the very first Authenticate, the safety of our community is our biggest priority,” said FIDO Alliance Executive Director and CMO Andrew Shikiar. “Due to continuing concerns over COVID-19, and in alignment with the information we’re hearing from local officials, we decided to transition to a digital-only format, and focus on giving attendees a powerful and informative virtual experience.”
Authenticate was supposed to be the FIDO Alliance’s first major industry conference, and the organization still has high hopes for the event. All four of the keynote speakers that were announced in February have agreed to be part of the virtual conference, and the event itself will expand from two days to a multi-day extravaganza with programming scheduled in multiple time zones to encourage international participation.
The keynote speakers are public key cryptography co-inventor Dr. Whitfield Diffie, as well as Microsoft Identity VP Joy Chik, Google Product Management Senior Director Mark Risher, and Yubico Founder and CEO Stina Ehrensvard. The various panels and Q&A sessions will cover a wide variety of topics, including payments, policy, technical implementation, and case studies.
The virtual Authenticate will still take place in November, though the FIDO Alliance has not yet revealed the final schedule. Authenticate is not the first rescheduled event to make the switch to a virtual format after Reed Exhibitions made a similar decision for October’s ISC West.