The term “team of rivals” has famously been used to describe how Abraham Lincoln reconciled the personality differences of his political rivals and leveraged their strengths to help run his administration and push forward agendas for the common good. Similarly, when I use the term I’m referring to industry leaders putting their personal and professional agendas aside (for the moment!) to work together toward a common of goal of evolving Internet identity, security and privacy.

The public and private sectors are being driven by the economy to expand markets and effectively communicating with users online, and are keenly aware of how Internet identity is fundamental to driving new services and building on existing ones. Doing this, however, means collaborating with everyone involved — including their competitors — to help standardize online identity verification and authentication in their respective industry.

These team of rivals are meant to be competitive within sectors and multiple sectors to establish best practices and drive Internet identity standards that benefit each industry as a whole. While their motivations may be selfishly business-driven, this type of healthy competition helps industries develop more effective ways to interact and do business with citizens, customers and end-users on the Internet.

In working with governments around the globe, it’s encouraging to see the real-time collaboration going on between and among governments at both the national and local level. Moving forward, the fundamental challenge governments and businesses worldwide face is how Internet identity will impact the way we identify and serve people online. It is these types of challenges and concerns that are motivating rivals to work toward a common interest without selfishly pushing any sort of personal agenda. The Open Identity Exchange (OIX) was created to help them do just that.

Composed of industry leaders and competitors in multiple sectors, including Internet identity (Google, PayPal), telecommunications (AT&T, Verizon), and data aggregation (Experian, Equifax & LexisNexis), OIX is a neutral, technology agnostic platform for multiple players in different sectors to voice their concerns and create partnerships for developing identity standards that hold up the value of knowing who you are on the Internet and improving the way we communicate online.

In short, when it comes to Internet identity everyone stands to benefit when they focus on the bigger picture. OIX leverages the strength of a team of rivals that have a common goal of expanding markets, and doing so through standards that help identity verification and authentication become a true global asset for both public and private industry.