Your secret B identity

* Barbie Girls – an identity device!

Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) Management is fast becoming the No. 1 topic of conversation in the enterprise identity field. Among the leaders in the space is San Jose’s Agiliance and I had the opportunity last week to chat with their new Vice President of Marketing, Patrick Kerans.

Whenever politicians start talking about “protecting our most valuable resource, our children,” I know it’s time to do two things: get out the BS meter and hold onto my wallet. Whenever someone in marketing says that, you just need to hold on to your wallet – presumably you’re already measuring the BS quotient in any marketing spiel. I was gripping my wallet a lot last week.

My friend Andre Durand, of Ping Identity, pointed me towards “Barbie Girls” – a Web site and an identity device! [warning: diabetics and those with a low tolerance for cute should turn off their speakers before viewing the site. I’m not sure how Andre stumbled upon it.] The deal is that you buy your daughter this $60 thing (which Andre described as looking like “a cross between a Bratz doll and a Cue Cat”) which sits in a docking station connected by a USB cable to your PC. Then, your little darling can go online to the site and chat (in what’s called “Secret B Chat”) with like-minded pre-teen girls. Well, only those who have been both approved by your little darling and who’ve registered with the site. As Durand so aptly put it:

“Sally brings her Barbie Girl over to her friend Tiffany's house, and sets it in Tiffany's docking station -- which is plugged into a USB port on Tiffany's PC. Mattel's (Windows only) software apparently reads some sort of globally unique identifier embedded in Sally's Barbie Girl, and authenticates Sally as one of Tiffany's Best Friends. Now when Sally gets home, the two can talk in Secret B Chat.”

So for $60, Sally can talk with Tiffany online. Of course, for free she could go back to Tiffany’s house and chatter away for hours. Or call her on the phone (land line would also be free).

But it is cute!

Next issue, I’ve got another “protect the children” item – but without the sugar overload of the Barbie site. Please come back.

Upcoming Events:Nothing to list this time, but I’m at the Gartner ID Summit this week. If you are also, feel free to say “hi!” and let me know what’s on your mind.

Editor's note: Starting Monday, Nov, 19, this newsletter will be renamed "Security: Identity Management Alert." Subscribers to the HTML version of this newsletter will notice some enhancements that will provide you with access to more resources relevant to identity management. You will still receive Dave Kearns' analysis of this market, which you will be able to read in its entirety online at, along with links to relevant news headlines of the day. We hope you enjoy the enhancements and we thank you for reading Network World newsletters.

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