Roger Clarke's Web-Site


© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd,  1995-2022

Roger Clarke's 'eAuthentication Realities'

eAuthentication Realities
You want to authenticate what???

Roger Clarke

Principal, Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra

Visiting Professor, Baker & McKenzie Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre, University of N.S.W.

Visiting Fellow, Department of Computer Science, Australian National University

These slide-sets were prepared for presentation in 11 cities across Australia, July-October 2003, for the Australian Computer Society Professional Development Board

Version of 1 August 2003

© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 2003

This document is at


This presentation takes a fresh look at the troubled area of authentication, including digital signatures, public key infrastructure and biometrics.

Remember that cartoon from the early days of the Internet, the one that said: 'On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog'?

Well what did it mean?

Marketers have long trumpeted the idea that, for Internet Commerce to work, each party (and especially the consumer) needs to be identified.

That simple idea has held Internet Commerce back for 5 years.

This presentation re-visits the question of what actually needs to be authenticated in order to stimulate trust in eBusiness transactions.



To get an idea of what the propositions are, you can read these papers:


Roger Clarke has conducted consultancy assignments through his company Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd since 1982. His primary expertise is in strategic and policy aspects of ebusiness and information infrastructure. He also has expertise in identity and identification, anonymity and pseudonymity, data surveillance, and privacy. He holds Commerce (IS) degrees from U.N.S.W. and a doctorate from the A.N.U. He spent the decade to mid-1995 in a senior academic position, and is currently a Visiting Professor in the Baker & McKenzie Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre at U.N.S.W., and in eCommerce at the University of Hong Kong. He has held positions with the Australian Computer Society, and is on the Boards of Electronic Frontiers Australia, the Australian Privacy Foundation and Privacy International.

xamaxsmall.gif missing
The content and infrastructure for these community service pages are provided by Roger Clarke through his consultancy company, Xamax.

From the site's beginnings in August 1994 until February 2009, the infrastructure was provided by the Australian National University. During that time, the site accumulated close to 30 million hits. It passed 65 million in early 2021.

Sponsored by the Gallery, Bunhybee Grasslands, the extended Clarke Family, Knights of the Spatchcock and their drummer
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd
ACN: 002 360 456
78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 6916

Created: 27 April 2003 - Last Amended: 1 August 2003 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 15 February 2009
This document is at
Mail to Webmaster   -    © Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 1995-2022   -    Privacy Policy