Identity Ecosystem Framework (IDEF)

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The IDEF provides a baseline set of standards and policies that apply to all of the participating trust frameworks. This baseline is more permissive at the lowest levels of assurance, to ensure that it does not serve as an undue barrier to entry, and more detailed at higher levels of assurance, to ensure that participants have adequate protections.

The IDEF is a living document, and will evolve in order to reach the agreed upon policies and technical standards necessary to fulfill the NSTIC’s vision. Currently, the IDEF contains a minimal set of commonly agreed upon recommendations, best practices and standards, but will become more robust over time as participants are able to come to agreement on different aspects of the Identity Ecosystem, not only in general but for key communities of interest and industry segments such as healthcare, financial services and education.

Identity Ecosystem Framework (IDEF) Core Documents

The Identity Ecosystem Framework (IDEF) v.1 was approved by the IDESG Plenary on October 15, 2015. The IDEF v.1 represents three core documents that describe the Identity Ecosystem and the requirements, best practices, and approved standards needed to be considered in compliance with it.

These documents include:

   The IDEF Functional Model
   The IDEF Baseline Functional Requirements
   The IDEF Baseline Functional Requirements and Supplemental Guidance
   The IDEF Scoping Statement for the Program Listing and Certification Scheme, including covered transactions and interactions

Identity Ecosystem Framework (IDEF) Support Documents

IDEF Glossary

In March 2016 the Plenary Chair asked each standing IDESG Committee to designate a representative for an inter-committee work group to develop a glossary of terms from the IDEF for use by applicants in the IDEF Registry program. This first version is aimed specifically to support the IDEF Registry, and thus should not be considered as a full glossary of Identity-related terms.

Completed in May 2016, a stable link to the expected PDF version is not yet available. The wiki version is available at IDEF Glossary.


  1. User Controlled
  2. Bi-directional Trust
  3. Flexible, Adaptive - different device, and techniques, including biometrics and behaviors.
  4. Shared signals - particularly shared news of attacks and compromises.