The Secure Identity Alliance (SIA) has announced its Open Source API (Application Program Interface) initiative at this week's SDW 2018. Directly addressing the high-cost problems of vendor lock-in and the lack of standardisation within today's identity ecosystem, the SIA says this new Open Source API project will deliver technical interoperability between civil registration registries and civil identification registries.Developed within the SIA and endorsed by the world's leading identity system vendors, the SIA says this initiative demonstrates an industry-wide commitment to breaking down the technical barriers to achieving the United Nations goal of establishing a legal identity for every citizen. It adds: "By allowing multiple identity registries and systems to 'talk' to one another – independent of technology, solution architecture or vendor – the Open Source API will solve the interoperability challenges that have hampered the evolution of national identity systems. Governments can invest with confidence – preserving the value of existing systems while evolving their environments without the fear of vendor lock-in.The Open Source API will be shared on Github from the beginning of the project. Anyone wishing to contribute is welcome to do so.Welcoming the announcement, Dr Joseph J Atick, executive chairman of the ID4Africa Movement, says: "The importance of initiatives of this type cannot be underestimated. A poll of delegates during the recent Annual Meeting of the ID4Africa Movement identified vendor lock-in as the biggest concern for those tasked with delivering national ID schemes. As the ID market matures, governments and implementing bodies must be free to select the most appropriate solutions without commercial or technical restrictions. The SIA's Open Source API is a key enabler and a major step towards harmonising identity schemes across Africa."Launching the initiative, Debora Comparin, who leads the Open Source API for the SIA, comments: "This initiative is all about making a difference for governments and implementing bodies across the world. It not only reflects how fast the identity market is maturing, but also the commitment of its major players to solving legacy proprietary challenges through ever deeper levels of collaboration and openness. The publication of the Open Source API on GitHub is the first step and we welcome contributions from all players in the identity value chain."FrÉdÉric Trojani, chairman of the Board of the Secure Identity Alliance comments: "While the abundance of proprietary technology is the natural consequence of the lack of recognised standards, we feel the industry must play a role in redressing the balance. As a not-for-profit association supported by the world's leading identity providers, SIA is uniquely positioned to drive this openness agenda through our experience, technical expertise and global influence."