Digital Identity Conference Nonconformist Innovation Summit Hosts Virtual Gathering for Privacy and Data - Identity Review - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

The inaugural Nonconformist Innovation Summit (NIS) is a free online event, bringing together global leaders in privacy and digital identity. The event will address key tech trends and subjects that include regulatory and privacy implications of COVID-19 contact tracing and exposure notification apps. The conference explores trends in privacy, data protection, digital identity and nonconformist innovation. 

Taking place on July 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, the summit features experts, business leaders, investors and strategists such as:

  • Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director of the Global Privacy & Security by Design Centre
  • Aaron Weller, Co-founder and Vice President of Strategy at Sentinel
  • Michelle Dennedy, Chief Executive Officer at DrumWave
  • Samuel M. Smith, Technical Governance Board Member at Sovrin Foundation
  • Drummond Reed, Chief Trust Officer at Evernym
  • Carlos Melvin, Managing Director – Global Privacy, Law and Corporate Affairs at Starbucks
  • Rohan Pinto, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at 1Kosmos
  • Marta Piekarska-Geater, Director of Ecosystem at Hyperledger
  • Dan Gisolfi, Chief Technology Officer Decentralized Identity and Open Security at IBM Security

Virtual Conference for Privacy

The idea for NIS came after identity industry veteran and host of the Nonconformist Innovation Podcast, Steve Tout, saw the opportunity to evolve his podcast into a full day digital summit with previous guests of his show and other distinguished speakers in their respective fields of expertise. These leaders will explore ways to create a safer world post-COVID-19 with privacy enhancing technologies and privacy by design standards.

“We are reminded daily how the world around us is in chaos despite living in modern civilization with the most advanced technologies in history that the planet has ever seen,” said Steve Tout. “Yet we still have devastating data breaches and a growing privacy deficit that threatens our democracy and personal freedoms.”

Organizations from all sectors have registered to attend the summit, from founders to CTOs and executives from CEOs to Trust Officers. Many attendees seek a greater understanding of what a new decentralized internet architecture means to them and their business. The event will also explore how it will enable them to achieve not only compliance with GDPR and CCPA but also be more competitive and endearing to their customers in the new stakeholder-driven economy. The summit is appropriate for executives and line of business managers who are responsible for ensuring that consumer data is protected at the design and want to use privacy and security by design to differentiate their products and services.

Attendees can expect to hear timely updates on CCPA and CCPA Version 2.0 aka the California Privacy Rights Act and recommendations from leading companies such as Sentinel, IBM Security, Evernym, 1Kosmos, Sovrin Foundation and others on creating a safer post-COVID-19 world with privacy-enhancing technologies and privacy by design.

“What we are going to talk a lot about at the Nonconformist Innovation Summit is that a decentralized internet (DID) and self-sovereign identity (SSI) is the best hope that we have for maintaining privacy and keeping control over data which is rightfully ours to keep,” said Tout. “The identity industry at large has done a fantastic job of creating a schema and technology or managing identities according to the rules and policies of the operators and service providers, but not always according to how data owners wish for their data to be used.”

In discussing future plans for the summit, Tout notes that the direction for future initiatives will depend on what his audience wants from both his podcast and Nonconformist Innovation themed content.

“I wanted to have deeper conversations with business and technology leaders whom I greatly admired like Tom Kemp, Richard Bird, Eve Maler, Dr. Steve Herrod. I hope that listeners get as much from the podcast, and the forthcoming summit, as I do from creating it. That would really make me happy.”

The Threat to Privacy Brings Important Topics of Discussion

The use of contact tracing and notification applications has dramatically increased, bringing with it concerning privacy implications. Dr. Cavoukian, a keynote speaker for NIS, will be discussing her views, experiences and recommendations for combatting this issue.

“We must remain vigilant to ensure that our privacy, which forms the foundation of our freedom, remains firmly intact after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended,” said Cavoukian. “There is presently such a push for tracking and surveillance in pursuit of public health, that it must be held firmly in its tracks—it cannot come at the expense of privacy—never! We must reject zero-sum, either/or models, in favour of positive-sum, win/win models that result in multiple positive gains.”

The Struggle for Proper Privacy Measures

Privacy by Design, GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) are all initiatives toward building privacy enhancing technologies and safer online experiences. However, most organizations struggle to implement proper safeguards. New privacy technologies help to enable organizations to satisfy compliance obligations and business objectives while also introducing a privacy management layer that measures, monitors and manages data value, privacy and security considerations. Aaron Weller, former PwC Managing Director and co-Founder of Sentinel is scheduled to give a keynote speech at NIS on how taking a broader view of privacy can help organizations close the gap between regulations, frameworks, execution and compliance.

“Too many organizations see privacy as a legal compliance issue rather than a path to consistent management of constraints on data usage,” said Weller. “My experience shows that taking a broader view of the issue leads to much better outcomes. I’m looking forward to providing some insights on what I’ve learned from this approach.”

For more information and to register for the Nonconformist Innovation Summit visit

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