Eve Maler: A renowned strategist, innovator and communicator
Last month, we spoke with Nicole Baxby, an account director at Featurespace. This month, we’re talking to Eve Maler, VP of Innovation and Emerging Technology in ForgeRock’s Office of the CTO.
With a focus on digital identity, security, privacy and consent, Eve is a firm believer in individual empowerment. Eve drives privacy and consent innovation for the ForgeRock identity platform, enabling user-controlled, compliant data-sharing across the web, mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT). She also founded and leads the User Managed Access (UMA) standards effort and directs the company’s engagement in interoperability standards.
We spoke to Eve about her involvement with Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and eXtensible Markup Language (XML), the qualities and characteristics needed to be successful, and advice for young women looking to follow in her footsteps.
Trulioo: You’re an analyst, a strategist, a communicator, and an all-round innovator. You also made major contributions to SAML and XML standards. When did you know that you were destined for a career in tech?
Eve: In college, I was majoring in linguistics and had no focus whatsoever on technology. I got a summer internship at Software Arts, the company famous for creating VisiCalc, to help them publish their documentation. They issued me my very own computer terminal to use. My life took an ever-geekier turn after that.
Trulioo: Your specialties include identity, access management, privacy and security – all different fields, sharing overlapping goals and challenges. What are some of the qualities and characteristics needed to be successful in these industries?
Eve: Be open to the big picture. We have some significant problems to solve and frequently need to cross disciplines to do so. I’ve learned a lot by “collecting lawyers” and adding legal, contractual, and business perspectives to my identity and privacy advocacy. And I have also found that it’s possible to unify enterprise access controls and consent management into a singular architectural layer.
“Be open to the big picture. Significant problems frequently need to cross disciplines @xmlgrrl”. Be open to the big picture. We have some significant problems to solve and frequently need to cross disciplines to do so
Trulioo: What milestones have helped pave the way for innovation and change within our industry?
Eve: The SAML standard, innovated around packaging and sending identity context across domains,has had a major impact on making enterprise relationships more loosely coupled. And the OAuth standard, innovated around building user-to-app connections, has had a major impact on enabling consent and its withdrawal. Finally, the UMA [User-Managed Access] standard, innovated around access delegation, has paved the way for the next critical element – party-to-party consent and access grants.
Trulioo: What advice do you have for young women in tech?
Eve: Pay attention to your disruptive, surprising ideas – especially when conventional wisdom runs the other way; don’t let others discourage you from pursuing them. It’s what led to my work on both XML and UMA – and several other career pivots.
Trulioo: How will identity evolve in 10 years?
Eve: The next area ripe for innovation is dynamic authorization and decisioning. We know pretty well how to plumb the depths of authentication as an input signal. It’s time to go beyond traditional inputs and start to include dynamically changing relationships in real time. For example, in a new mobility situation, the data most relevant to making a policy decision may come from the person’s family relationships, contract relationships, device (car) relationships, current consents, and so on. The real world is a lot messier than company org charts and role management.
Trulioo: If you had to sum up your personal mission in one sentence, what would it be?
Eve: Make what people actually want to do online possible and safe.
Trulioo: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Eve: I would want the time turner superpower. I’d use it not just to get more time to read, sing, maybe finally go back and study Economics, goof off, and travel, but also to convert to a new time zone when traveling so I can avoid jet lag. (I actually do have a Time Turner, but, sadly, it does not work.)