Trust Frameworks aren’t easy documents to draft and trying to get a group of competitors to work cooperatively to write such a document doesn’t make it any easier.  If those competitors have large legal and compliance departments it’s going to take even more effort. (And almost all big companies do.) But agreement can and does happen; it just takes a little compromise and a lot of work. 898 Days after its inception, OIX’s Telecom Data Working Group voted, last Friday, to accept a final version of a Verification Trust Framework.

The Telecom Data Working Group’s Verification Trust Framework is an example of how very large, often fierce competitors can work together for the common good of their industry and their customers. Back in the summer of 2010, four OIX members chartered a working group focused on developing a framework of guidelines for verification of consumer identity assertions using very tightly controlled telecom industry subscriber information. AT&T, Verizon, TNSI and PacificEast sat down in a conference room in Verizon’s sprawling Ashburn, Virginia campus and worked out the group charter. This began the long journey of deciding how to allow organizations to verify what consumers tell them against an extremely accurate and nearly ubiquitous but highly regulated and tightly secured repository of consumer information: phone bills.

Although the process of defining this Trust Framework is complete, a Trust Framework is only a blueprint just like DNA in itself isn’t “alive” but is a framework from which life can develop. As the Telecom Data Working Group continues to interact with the OIX and with prospective trustees, we will have the pleasure of seeing how this trust framework will develop, evolve and come into a life of its own. Our congratulations to Verizon and AT&T and to working group chair, Scott Rice from PacificEast for staying the course.