The Verification Standard: A Look at What's to Come

Episode 250

State of Identity Podcast


Episode 250

The Verification Standard: A Look at What's to Come

The past 10 years have introduced and welcomed mobile wallets, digital assistants, and the adoption of digital identity verification. With the intricacies of our online lives, the notion of tying verification to a credential is slowly dissipating. In this week’s State of Identity podcast, join host, Cameron D’Ambrosi, and Rick Song, Co-founder and CEO of Persona. They break down Persona’s recent $150MM raise, what the next 10 years pose for identity verification, and a few expected challenges we can anticipate along the way.


Cameron D'Ambrosi, Managing Director at Liminal


Rick Song, Co-founder & CEO of Persona


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Cameron [00:00:04] Welcome everyone to a state of identity, I’m your host, Cameron D’Ambrosio. Joining me this week is Rick Song, co-founder and chief executive officer at Persona. Rick, welcome to State of Identity.

Rick [00:00:15] Really glad to be here. Thank you so much, Cameron.

Cameron [00:00:17] For folks who have been living under a rock and maybe missed the news, you guys are a newly appointed member of the Digital Identity Unicorns Club. So first and foremost, congratulations on that. But before we take a deeper dove there, I love to start off our conversations with a little bit of background. You know how folks came to find themselves in the digital identity space and and what inspired them to take the leap and start their startups? Would you mind walking us through like a little bit of your background, your time previous to founding persona and what the impetus for for taking that leap and spinning something new up was?

Rick [00:00:58] Yeah, absolutely. So I guess if I were to start off my background as an engineer and I was formerly at Square for about five years, I oftentimes joke with people, I’m actually not the most entrepreneurial type. It wasn’t like, you know, when I was 14, I suddenly realized the immense, vast problem that is identity online. Nor was I thinking about starting a company or anything of that sort. Frankly, I kind of uncover this problem primarily because some engineering may address where Square was like, we need to work on this and like this increasingly large problem there. And I think Square had a very unique stage in which this problem presented itself. And of course, there was that Square was evolving from a merchant payment processor, which was really purely focused on kind of like one eye to any core problem into one which is focused on so many different having square was evolving the entire platform ecosystem of services for small businesses. We were seeing services like Caviar for merchant fulfillment to capital, which was for lending. Today, there’s cash for peer to peer transfers, investing, you know, crypto purchases, business banking, payroll and just entire ecosystem. And while there, you know, Iowa effectively was kind of put on this team to really grapple with the immense complexities of identity and how it emerged, not within just a single use case, but across so many different types of use cases there. And one thing that was very, very clear while we’re tackling this was that there wasn’t going to be the silver bullet toward solving this problem. Historically, if you look 15 years back at once purely kind of focusing on this world from this Social Security number type of verification, purely for KYC type purposes. But today we see applied to so many different kinds of uses from trust and safety, whether that be for guests and for people booking locations to food delivery platforms like DoorDash, crypto has emerged and can present an entire new suite of different problems. But for us, you know, the core for us was that we felt that really what we need was much more customization for both the business and for individuals. Different individuals present different risk. Different businesses have different risk factors they have to take into place. So that’s where we’re kind of seeing that firsthand. So, you know, when I was originally working there, I spent close to half a decade and focus on this core problem. It really wasn’t until I met my co-founder, Charles, who I’ve been friends with for. I don’t know, probably like close to 10 years now who he was, the much more entrepreneurial of the two of us. And he was the one who was like, Look, we’ve been, you know, you’ve been talking about this challenge for so long. We should go off and tackle it like the way that you think you know what emerge the future within the space. So that’s really kind of how we uncover this problem originally. And kind of what made us take the leap to Charles was an engineer at Dropbox. He focused on data infrastructure and growth. So he’d seen things from a different angle. But you it was the combination of more so his entrepreneurial spirit, and that my kind of like firsthand encountering with innovation, with a variety of vendors trying piecemeal everything together, making sure the platform was both adaptive enough and flexible enough to consistently kind of evolve with it. The litany of use cases now emerging and square, they have led us to persona, and the core that we really kind of pushed on was this idea that there wasn’t going to be a one size fits all and that there really needed to be a platform, almost a suite of building blocks that business can compose, mix and match to build their own kind of identity verification experiences. And on top of that, make it such that rather than think about this one all kind transaction evolving into a relationship where more and more businesses are, think of identity as an emergent kind of thing, we’re collecting something upfront and then gradually escalating to pay on the use cases and the risk presented by the user. So those are the two core kind of things that led to persona at that time. Today, with COVID especially, you know, we’ve seen this acceleration with this within this entire space as more and more businesses have to perform a lot of things that they historically did off line, where ideas oftentimes taken for granted in a fully digitally native type of way, where identity oftentimes a much more complex type of problem. And we kind of are, you know, that was obviously a boon for us. But on the flip side, what we also are much more kind of fascinated with is the emergence of so many new use cases than we ever kind of expected and a lot of unique ways to help these misses to kind of tackle these unique use cases. So we’ve been it’s been a really, really wild journey in that sense.

Cameron [00:05:11] Yeah, I mean, I feel like I’m kind of preaching to the converted here when you’re saying that because of the fact that, you know, we really shared, I think that same fundamental perspective around digital identity that for the longest time it was really kind of trapped in this regulatory pigeonhole, if you will, that the applicability of digital identity was purely OK if you don’t meet these USA Patriot Act or Bank Secrecy Act requirements. Digital identity doesn’t matter. And then you had this explosion in the internet kind of being this connective layer between online and offline spheres, right? The rise of what some folks call the gig economy. I kind of don’t like that term. We like to say online to offline platforms because I think it encompasses a broader set of use cases, but also kind of respects the notion that a lot of these employees are basically, you know, it’s not like a side hustle, right? So for these online to offline platforms, you have not just the regulatory requirements imposed because of money transfer, but also this whole new world of trust and safety, right? Who is behind this transaction or who is in front of this transaction, right? Both from, you know, should I get into the car of this stranger that the internet has dispatched to my house? Which, you know, if you that this is like such a tired joke, but you know, I’m old enough to remember when my parents told me, Never use your real name on the internet and don’t get in the car with strangers. And now it’s what put your real name into the internet so that a stranger can pull up at your house and then you, you know, get into their car. And what? What does that require? It requires fundamental trust and safety element to these platforms, and I think persona is right in line with that shift in the market. You know what you referred to in terms of being able to dynamically allow your customers to kind of adjust and play with these building blocks to pick the level of assurance that meets their needs? That’s something new, I think, and something exciting. And I think the traction you’ve seen in the market and the success you’ve had in raising this latest blockbuster round, this is really reflective of the fact that you’re very much over the target here.

Rick [00:07:28] I mean, you know, one thing I really love they call out there is this idea of like this online to offline platform. That’s something that we actually talk a lot about here at Persona as well, which is, you know, oftentimes we speak so often of the digital transformation wasn’t telling digital transformation. This this idea of a lot of digitally native services where, you know, a lot of these things that we historically have thought about the internet for is for things that, like the entire ecosystem, occurs online. When you look at something like Facebook, when you look at something like Twitter, the entire ecosystem there, historically it’s been viewed as is an only as an online Typekit impact. Everything kind of almost lives in an entirely different bubble from the offline world. So when we think about E! Commerce, all about it, oftentimes we’re always viewed from this list. I always joke that, you know, I hope no one in the world ever finds my Reddit username like this is the type of things that hopefully live within this online only kind of sphere. But the digital transformation has brought so many things that historically have happened online, offline. From today, you can earn it, earn a degree to order delivery. You can call the cab, you know, book a home without ever interfacing face to face with a person. And I think in the past 10 years, a lot of you know, the the industry has treated these almost like online or offline type interactions in the same way that we treat online online have interactions, which is really focusing on purely credentialing and kind of saying that, OK, as soon as I’m kind of started, this person is who they say they are. It’s OK. Well, I think what these past 10 years have shown is that the impact offline is actually incredibly substantial, and that identity is such a kind of foundational building block for so many of these online interactions is lost, especially without this face-to-face type of interaction. So I think we’re really seeing an evolution within this space is this notion that verification tie-ing to a credential is slowly kind of dissipating that this idea that we can continue you username and password and then attaching some sort of verification on top of it and calling this a day and just continuing with a username and password that’s starting to fall apart. The most time upfront way oftentimes like to share this is if I sign for Coursera tomorrow and then, you know, later on, you take a course on my behalf. Cameron finishes this course and then, you know, then I get a degree. This doesn’t make any sense, there’s actually a huge off road ramification, I can use this degree to go and then apply for a job or something. I may have no expertize in and it kind of shows the, you know how quickly this idea of like credentials as a means of at least ascertaining my physical identity starts to fall apart. So this has been a really key part, and where we can really find this to come alive is this notion of a life cycle of identity. Through these building blocks, they enable you build unique experiences and with these unique experiences, allow you to create experiences across the entire lifecycle with an engagement of a customer. If you are DoorDash making sure it’s the same dasher that consistently kind of uses, this account is delivering food, making sure you know who’s actually on your platform, not just knowing what the user IDs are of these people. So that’s been a really, really big thing for us. And I think, you know, our core belief as a business is that this is going to be the direction this industry moves towards this idea of almost entire verticals focused on identity, not from the perspective of usernames and passwords and user IDs, rather humans, people. Who is this person? And making sure that we’re building the infrastructure in place to support these businesses and to add.

Cameron [00:10:44] That you’re you’re taking the words right out of my mouth. You know, we talk a lot about this consumer digital identity lifecycle here at Liminal, and I think that’s the path forward, right? I mean, username and password is in some ways it’s like the worst of all possible worlds, right? It’s it’s something that machines are really easy at kind of. Breaking right, like nothing is easier for a computer to do than spam. Password permutations to break into an account, but at the same time, human brain really crappy at remembering passwords. And then, you know, this notion of a shared secret really kind of falls apart. When is that secret? Can be compromised in any number of ways, whether it’s like in transit, whether it’s at rest, whether it’s, you know, the in the parlance of XKCD, the $5 wrench attack where I just, you know, threaten to hit you with a wrench until you tell me your password. All of these things are our critical vulnerabilities, and they’re letting down both the consumer who gets really frustrated and is put at unnecessary risk and they’re letting down, you know, the enterprise customers who are struggling to meet their business needs for trusted digital identities that as I think we both outlined our future to the growth of just about every sector of the economy. Again, a bit of a retread for folks who have listened to every episode of State of Identity. But you know, when I talk to people at cocktail parties and they say, Oh, you work in digital identity, what is that? I find the easiest entry point to kind of getting them to understand. What I’m talking about is to have them tell me what they do. And then I just say, OK, here’s how digital identity applies to to your line of work like, Oh, you’re in sales, OK, CRM, that’s digital identity. Understanding the identity of your customers, what those attributes that are associated with them are how much money they’re willing to spend with you. Their previous transaction history, their name, their address. All of these things are are really identity elements when you kind of distill it down to that kind of thread that you started pulling on here, which is digital identity kind of across the lifecycle, moving beyond username and password. You know, what are some of the technologies that you think are going to continue to be really core to achieving that? Biometrics, I think, is top of mind for a lot of folks in terms of tech tech that has the the possibility of kind of getting us past some of these stale paradigms. What are your thoughts around biometrics and in different modalities and how we might leverage kind of new and exciting tech to to move beyond what’s possible with the current generation?

Rick [00:13:29] So I’ll have three kind of valid points here. The first of which is, I think biometrics are unbelievably powerful, and I think one of the biggest challenges about them is using them responsibly. Today, when we look at a lot of the use cases around it, I think it’s going to be increasingly paramount that businesses are managing this data well. And to be honest, this interest, you know, as a space, we’ve never been very good in terms of managing PII. Well, I mean, if anything like today, the very fear that we have around PII is indicative of this. So I think biometrics is unbelievably exciting. I think that. You know, the future will be that one in which we have to manage it responsibly. And I hope that fewer businesses out there are actually directly interfacing with biometrics. I suspect that the future around it will actually be something very similar to what the payment space has done around PCI compliance and making sure that there’s a fair amount of regulatory hurdles to make sure you clear a lot of compliance requirements met before businesses are directly interfacing with this. And I hope there’s an emergence of businesses who can really help kind of bridge that gap to make sure that the data is being used in a responsible manner that’s being stored in a responsible manner because the ability that unlocks is really tremendous. Being able to, you know, leverage with less, you know, which is more difficult for bots and more seamless for humans to be able to verify who we are. I think that’s fantastic. So that’s the first time, which is I do think biometrics is going to be a key part of future. At the same time, I also believe that in about like probably next five years or so, we’re going to see an emergence of a lot of technologies really attacking biometrics and making that easier than ever. One story I always love to share with people as overall, I don’t remember, I think Christmas break. Maybe a couple of years back, I’d gone home and I was playing around with some of the new technology, and it took me just a matter of, you know, I forgot how long, maybe two or three hours to put together a deepfake of my dad over a Christmas break just to showcase how easily it is to kind of like, create these type experiences. And you know, we see these today of like Tom Cruise on YouTube, you know, with alternative people kind of impersonating them. So I think that there’s going to be a lot of challenges facing the biometric space, especially as a kind of prevalent prevalence. Which leads me to the second point, which is I also think there’s really, really exciting technologies on the horizon. Apple recently announced their models, and I think that’s going to be huge. I think models is going to be a huge part of the future in the same way that Apple Pay has really changed the payment space. I think Apple and Amazon Apple Wallet will do a huge make a pretty big substantial difference within the biometrics space as well and also the ability for folks to be themselves online. Today we are oftentimes uploading images and we all know how easy it is to forge a driver license just through Photoshop and kind of creating something that is almost imperceptible for any human marginalized machine to be able to figure this out. I think in the next 10 years, we can continue to see an emergence of really clever and smart technologies to make it a more seamless process. The third thing I will say is I think the long term of the identity space will not be one in which we’ll consistently find some new technology that solves this problem of our look 10 years out. I don’t believe there’s going to be emergence of some magical technology that completely solves identity, I think for the past 20 years. We’ve been searching for it and we’re constantly trying to find things like device ID. So, you know, the emergence of like a lot of risk signals today, government IDs and biometrics is very involved. But a five years out, it’s going to be a move towards again like models and device IDs again and a combination of high binding user to devices. But I think the long term of this space will actually be one in which hopefully there’s a little bit more of a consolidation of data where our session data can really kind of be used to get a better sense that we are who we say we are. And the best analogy I have towards this is actually within the payment space in the payments space. When we look at online payments over these past 20 years, we haven’t seen an emergence of a new way to take online payments. You know, earlier you had mentioned the common joke about your parents not wanting you to kind of like putting your real information online. I always actually used to tell folks hear a similar joke, which is 20 years ago, I wanted to buy a video game online and my I was going to ask my dad for his credit card, and he was deeply uncomfortable. In fact, he said that this is the dumbest thing you can possibly do on your credit card. Information online is tantamount to effectively throwing money and burning money away. Today, you know he is buying things off Amazon almost on a weekly basis. He’s frankly doing retail therapy into retirement. I think it’s amazing transformation because how he’s making these online payments has not changed. He continues to put in his credit card information to his expiration date, the shipping address, etc. But what has changed is the emergence of better fraud and the ability to detect fraud much more reliably using an entire network of online payments, and because offline and online payments he has made to get a sense of his risk profile. And I think that’s a huge kind of shout out to folks like Visa, MasterCard and all the payment networks who will create these unbelievably reliable kind of. Models to be able to really prevent the complete onslaught of fraud within the payment space. Don’t get me wrong. Payments fraud is on the rise. But if it’s been really held off, especially given the lack of emergence of new technologies there, and I think with an identity space that’s going to be the next big goal for the next 10 years, which is can we start utilizing all the different interactions that we have with these online and offline platforms to be able to get a better sense of our identity? Because today my dad’s also similarly terrified of playing in as an online. He’s more comfortable playing his credit card number than he has his SSN. And I think what it really showcases is more so that the reason why it has been so valuable is because you can reuse it across so many different platforms out there. Even if you start, you know, you freeze your credit score. You go online for four months of diligence on the largest platforms. There are over. There’s a new neo bank every single week at this point. Who this imposter can go and sign up for and effectively defraud and kind of re leverage those identity and continue to come. And I think what we really need is the emergence of almost an identity network that can really kind of leverage these interactions to protect everybody and make it harder such that if it’s a bad actor or, you know, there is a more risky transaction that is taking account of, so to me, I actually think it’s not going to be the emergence of technology, but rather a universal network that spans not only within fintech, not only within the gig economy, as you or, you know, not only with an ad tech, but rather across the entire board in the same way that within payments, we we’ll see that emerge.

Cameron [00:19:48] That’s fantastic, I mean, so much again that I agree with there and don’t have time to to run through it all, but I wanted to unpack a little bit. You know, you mentioned this eye towards the future, right? Mobile driver’s license is a more direct pathway from the current custodians of identity as they exist today, which in the U.S., for whatever reason, is the DMV. Because of course, that makes sense, you know? I want to prove who I am to a bank. While the Department of Motor Vehicles, their credential is the the best way to do that when we’re thinking about the future of the digital identity landscape in the U.S.. I remain optimistic in many regards of my life. But you know, a future where we have something similar to what’s being proposed in Europe with a broadly interoperable, user centric ID platform with national government issued digital credentials. I see that as a tremendous challenge in this country because of our cultural. Distaste, shall we say, for a single federally issued identity, even though we have it to your point, in the form of a Social Security number like it already exists, it’s just easy for bad guys to use maliciously and and terrible for consumers to recover if it’s been breached. So in thinking of the potential future we see and maybe models, are mobile driver’s licenses remaining central to that vision? What role do you see the personas of the world playing in that landscape? Is it as a trusted intermediary that allows businesses that are maybe not technologically inclined to go out and integrate across 50 DMVs nationwide? Being able to have a kind of a single point of contact, collating these digital identities, digesting them in a meaningful way, and kind of taking the burden of digital identity away from platforms whose core expertize is selling shoes or or cab rides or whatever that and the use case might be.

Rick [00:21:49] I mean, he’s exactly that, right? Our belief, you know, when you say all this, the first thing that I think through is it’s fragmenting and a lot of ways the ways in which someone can be themselves online is hyper fragmenting. In Europe, there’s going to be a whole emergence, but it won’t be every single person who signs up for it. It’ll be like maybe 70 percent of the population, and then there’s an additional 30 percent. And then what happens to immigrants? What happens is Sunset, who, you know, maybe under age and was able to cure this properly or without the recovery type of scenarios. So I think what will actually emerge is a lot more forms of ways people can be themselves right in the US. There are so many forms of government IDs if you even look within. So we do a fair amount of work even in Southeast Asia and Southeast Asia. I always like to share like if you think the identity kind of like landscape within us is unbelievably fragmented complex. I mean, over there, it’s incredible, right? And we’re seeing the same things emergence of a hyper, hyper fragmented ecosystem. And I think be more or less the responsibility on business to tackle this is going to be higher than ever. And I think how what’s kind of happening today is folks are trying to just cover the most common type of scenarios. But our global persona really is to number one, make it adaptive, make it such that for any use case out there, you can hit that risk threshold that you care about in a way that makes the most sense. And that can be really adaptive to the user as well. So for the user, if you don’t have an SSN available or you know you don’t feel comfortable putting your SSN, hopefully there’s an alternative way that you can be yourself and kind of becoming that intermediary so that no matter what forms of new technology comes out and deals become a big thing. Hopefully, if you’re already on persona, it’s the most seamless experience to be all kind of take that in and leverage it on your own platform. So being something that almost like intermediary, there’s almost orchestration and kind of data layer for our customers is the goal.

Cameron [00:23:36] That’s fantastic. No, I think we’re we’re very much aligned. I think there’s there’s two kinds of episodes that we have here, ones where I’m finding myself kind of prodding my guest in and challenging their perspective where we might differ and ones where I’m like, Damn, I really just I agree with everything you said. And I suppose to some degree, that doesn’t make for a compelling, compelling radio program. But but here we are, pivoting, I guess, back to persona more directly. You know, I tease this out at the beginning of the show, but congratulations again on that latest round of fundraising that $150 million Series C, which, you know, we are super, super excited to see companies out there making headlines, raising these big and successful rounds, because I think it’s a fundamental validation of the success of the digital identity industry as a whole. So thank you for for all your hard work and helping carry this flag of digital identity into battle as it were. But I guess a more pointed question. You know, you’ve partnered with Founders Fund and some other really prominent investors, you know, as a platform that I think it’s safe to say, probably had tremendous amount of interest from across the investment community. You know, as a founder, what criteria go into, you know, how you choose to to select your investors and what made Founders Fund attractive to you in terms of having them lead your latest round?

Rick [00:25:07] Yeah, I mean, above all else, for us, it’s. One thing that I always ask investors kind of like what their thesis on this space is and what they are, what they are kind of like coming in in terms of like the long term vision and how they believe. How they believe this space will emerge. And I think that Lehman is unbelievably important and seeing folks who really can deeply understand how much space we’re going into and that strategy that we’re taking when we raise this round, I think what made this round so unbelievable, exciting beyond kind of like the the aggressive growth we’ve seen over these past couple of years is the universality of use cases. This idea that persona isn’t just a platform for fintech, it isn’t just a platform for ED tech, it’s a platform that can work for any Typekit, any use case out there. And the consolidation of all of these use cases will one day merge to make it such that the entire all use cases will hopefully have less friction and less risk across the board because the goal of the day is this idea of almost universal identity network. And when we met with our founder song, we met with folks at Index Meditech Bond Insight. One thing that really came through was that they understood this vision, and they could really, really kind of see that differentiation. You know, I then the day to day, a lot of companies are growing unbelievably fast. Frankly, the number of unicorns be minted as, think an all time high. But I think what really differentiates us at that time was this idea that they were really, really comfortable and confident our ability to go universal and not just built a platform for a single use case and believe that there’s a lot of value in exactly the data being produced from every single use case out there. So that was the most important thing, which is finding investors who are willing to kind of take that gamble because trying to go diverse, trying to go wide right off the bat is generally considered a very high risk type of strategy, right? The most common kind of advice is to specialize within a single industry knocked out of the park and then eventually go, why? But I think what we’ve seen within the spaces, there’s a lot of vendors who hyper specialize. There’s a lot, a lot of players who are specializing, but we just have not seen in the emergence of a horizontal platform ever really a horizontal M2M platform, ever. And our kind of take was, look, we want to find investors who are willing to bet big with us, who are really willing to kind of go the distance and see, is this something that could one day emerge? Because if it can emerge, we think that’s going to be unbelievably valuable for consumers and investors alike. And one way I oftentimes put this out there is that I’ll always continue to draw back this analogy to Visa, which is, you know, payments have emerged as a space where, you know, there’s a set of kind of payment providers who specialize in high value transactions and that payment providers who specialize in e-commerce. But instead, what we’ve seen is a payment network that emerged for all types of transactions out there, offline and online. I think that’s honestly incredible. And the question for identity is, can we create something on the digital space that similarly is able to kind of go so horizontally? So when we were looking for investors, that was really the most important thing that partner alignment and the firm alignment. So oftentimes, you know, above all else, it isn’t about, you know, these days, I think valuations are growing so unbelievably quickly. But I think finding a great partner who you’re will excited and want to work with for a decade to come is hard because oftentimes that relationship will span a decade. And what we really found that the best was I was looking for,

Cameron [00:28:21] I love it, that that’s really, really great to hear. And you know, I think it’s again, a tremendous sign that digital identity has kind of stepped out of the background and into the limelight. We like to say, you know, when we founded OWI and now liminal, like six years ago, we made several predictions, you know, twenty eighteen, twenty nineteen twenty twenty every year like this is going to be the year of digital identity, like it’s going to click. People are going to get it. And I think 2021 might finally be the year that we can really say digital identity has hit the mainstream. I do think unfortunately, it took a global pandemic and the severance of some of these methods that people relied on in lieu of functional digital identity systems to kind of turn some heads and and catch attention. But you know, it never look a gift horse in the mouth, as they say, I suppose. So I think it’s finally folks are paying attention. They’re realizing the criticality of identity to all facets of the economy. And I think it’s really set us on a tremendous, tremendous trajectory. Last question before we wrap here. I do love to ask my guests to take out their Magic Crystal ball and make some predictions for the future. So Rick, I do see that you have your Magic Crystal Ball with. You would love to hear your thoughts in terms of where you see the digital identity market heading over the next couple of years.

Rick [00:29:46] I think this can be two things that really emerge. The first of which is I think there’s going to be a fair amount of consolidation within the space. The value of being able to have identity in a holistic manner is more important than ever. I think historically, for a lot of business, we’ve always looked at from models like fragmented type perspective of how use this vendor for this, this vendor for this and I’m leaving on the business kind to consolidate all that’s becoming increasingly complex for everyone. So I think there’s going to be consolidation not only from a number of player space in the space as it kind of explodes. This generally is the next kind of big thing. Is going to be kind of like seeing unified players who really can act as almost these conduits for all these different innovative ideas that pioneers of that identity space are creating. The second thing I think will also emerge is, I mean, and I honestly don’t think it’s emergence rather than just continuance of the trend is over this past 10 years, there have been so many unique new ideas applied identity space, new ways to be able to ascertain so inside any getting better and better signal with lower and lower friction. And then after that bad actors attack and it becomes like, you know, not the most attractive way, and we’re going to see it as kind of like a cat and mouse game within the evolution of technology within the space. I don’t think that’s going to change. I think there’s going to continue to be like new innovations here today. By all measures are good. Maybe five years from now, they’ll be deprecated. Or, you know, this guy just become one additional kind of tool in the arsenal. And I think that’s entertainment. But I think that’s going to be combined with really these consolidation type of players who are able kind of like create the entire infrastructure and fabric for a lot of these businesses. The last thing I’ll say is, I mean, this is a bolder prediction, and I don’t think it’s going to be realized in the next two years or three years. But I hope that over the next decade, the next generation of business internet businesses are no longer storing PII. I think much like today, most businesses out there no longer, you know, store their own credit card information. They utilize platforms like Stripe to do everything they need around payments. Most business out there no longer operate their own data centers. These new businesses instead actually use platforms like it was these cloud infrastructure as a kind of operator. Everything on the infrastructure side, I hope for the next generation of businesses. They’re no longer on PII. And I think the only way to make that occur is to build these consolidated type platforms that offer businesses all the building blocks and tools they need to be able tackle the challenges they’ll face both today and upcoming. And I think hopefully that that’s us. I think there will absolutely be someone who’s able to accomplish this dream. But the vision is that I hope the next generation businesses are no longer storing personal information. I think this will be a huge boon for everyone from data breaches to everything else. I think we really

Cameron [00:32:23] love it again. Complete and violent agreement on my part. I think in many ways we’re going to look back on the era where our PII was just being whizzed all over the internet and stored in a million different places. As you know, like when you look at old photos and just see people just, you know, smoking cigarets left and right indoors or driving around with babies in their arms with no seatbelts on. I think it’s going to be one of those things where we’re like, What were we ever thinking and why did we not get our ducks in a row before that? Rick, thank you so much for your time. Greatly. Greatly appreciate it. One last chance for a quick plug for folks listening who want to get in touch with you and the team. Learn more about the Persona platform. What is the best place for them to go?

Rick [00:33:09] So you can always go to our website. We have a careers page as well. In case you’re interested in the things that we’re saying, resonate with you and you’d like to work with us, we’re actively pretty much growing on every single avenue persona today. So from the business side of things, sales, marketing, customer success, growth to the product side, product engineering, design, data science and so much more, please do get in touch also if you just want to jam about identity as well. Feel free to just contact form. Reach out to us. We have info out, persona or about, and you can always kind of get in contact with us. We frankly, are unbelievable excited about the space and just love jamming about it. So any interest, folks at all?

Cameron [00:33:46] Right, you heard it here first, folks. If you want to want to jam out on some identity. Reach out to Rick and the team. Please be nice. If I hear from Rick that you guys are there are hassling him, you’ll hear from me. Thank you again, Rick. So great chatting with you and so, so happy for for your success.

Rick [00:34:04] Really, really appreciate.

Explore The Podcast Library

Episode 343

In the latest State of Identity podcast, hosted by Cameron D’Ambrosi, we’re joined by Laura Spiekerman, co-founder and president of Alloy, a global identity risk solution for financial services and a Liminal 2023 Company to Watch. We’ll discuss its pioneering role in the orchestration-centric approach to Digital Identity in Fintech. Spiekerman delves into the challenges Alloy addresses in the fintech space, where compliance and fraud often hinder innovation. Join us to explore the evolving landscape of digital identity in Fintech, trends in fraud prevention, and the critical intersection of customer experience and security.

Episode 342

In the latest episode of the State of Identity podcast series, we delve into the ever-evolving world of customer identity and access management (CIAM). Join host Cameron D’Ambrosi from Liminal as he sits down with Brian Pontarelli, the founder and CEO of FusionAuth, to explore the exciting developments and challenges in the realm of passwordless authentication, user data management, and the quest for seamless transitions in the digital landscape. Bryan shares his expertise and unique perspective, shedding light on the fascinating journey of FusionAuth and its pivotal role in this dynamic landscape. Tune in for a thought-provoking discussion that promises to expand your understanding of CIAM and its critical role in the modern enterprise.

Episode 341

Tune in to the latest episode of the State of Identity podcast series, where Data Security expert Shane Curran, Founder and CEO of Evervault, dives deep with host Cameron D’Ambrosi into the intricacies of data security. Discover why basic encryption methods aren’t enough, understand innovative data security strategies that ensure functionality, learn how encryption safeguards AI model training without compromising customer data, and grasp the significance of prioritizing current cybersecurity threats over quantum computing concerns.

Episode 340

In the latest episode of the State of Identity podcast, host Cameron D’Ambrosi is joined by Gadalia Montoya Weinberg O’Bryan, an ex-NSA crypto mathematician and the Founder and CEO of Dapple Security. Learn about Gadalia’s remarkable journey from the National Security Agency to the forefront of identity-focused cybersecurity. Learn about the limitations of current passwordless approaches, particularly in scenarios involving lost or stolen devices, and delve into the crucial distinction between authenticating the user behind the device rather than the device itself. Gadalia introduces Dapple Security’s unique solution, which involves generating an on-demand passkey using a user’s fingerprint—emphasizing the company’s commitment to user privacy by avoiding the storage of biometrics on the device or in the cloud—and how this approach is a key element in enhancing overall security posture.

Episode 339

In this episode of the State of Identity podcast, host Cameron D’Ambrosi talks with Eric Olden, the co-founder and CEO of Strata Identity. Join us as they discuss the challenges faced by today’s multi-vendor/multi-cloud enterprise technology landscape and how forward-looking executives view identity as an opportunity, not a cost center. They also delve into the importance of moving towards passwordless authentication and the role of identity orchestration in addressing these challenges.

Episode 338

In this episode of the State of Identity podcast, Liminal host Cameron D’Ambrosi and Justin McCarthy, the co-founder and CTO of StrongDM explore the dynamic landscape of digital identity and access management, addressing the challenges and trends that shape the industry. They talk about what it means to move towards a “credential-less” world and discuss the complexities of authentication, authorization, and the role of proxies in bridging old and new technologies. McCarthy highlights the imperative for convergence among various tools, including the essential role of AI, providing a unified approach to access control, governance, and policy enforcement.

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