Authentication for e-Business:
Current Practices, Conceptual and Implementation Issues

Roger Clarke

Principal, Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra

Visiting Fellow, Department of Computer Science, Australian National University

Version of 25 September 2002

Address as part of the ECom-ICom Experts Address Series (2002-2003), The University of Hong Kong, 27 September 2002

© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 2002

This document is at

The PowerPoint Slide-Set is at


Finger print or retina biometrics? Digital signatures? Smart Cards? Since the commercialization of the Internet, it has been conventional to presume that e-commerce is dependent upon the parties to transactions being identified, and their identities authenticated, especially the identities of consumers and citizens.

This address will start off with a short account on the current practices internationally and presumably in Hong Kong on how clients are authenticated in on-line transactions, examine the concepts of identification and authentication, and conclude that many of the conventional presumptions are misguided.

Professor Roger Clarke, an international business consultant and the Visiting Professor on the renowned MSc Programme on Electronic Commerce and Internet Computing at The University of Hong Kong, presents a model, definitions and several new terms, and argues for the need to lay a more appropriate foundation for real progress in the e-business arena.


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Created: 18 September 2002

Last Amended: 25 September 2002

These community service pages are a joint offering of the Australian National University (which provides the infrastructure), and Roger Clarke (who provides the content).
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