Vision: Access to abundant, high-quality journalism vital for a participatory democracy


The internet promised open, easy access to the information that uniquely matters to us. Today, however, that access is controlled by a few powerful platforms upon which we rely for, well . . .pretty much everything.  In exchange, these for-profit platforms control our identity and threaten our privacy.  On top of that, quality publishing is suffering a loss of billions in advertising to the platforms and up to $16 billion in ad fraud.

No one organization can tackle all of these problems. The Information Trust Exchange Governing Association (ITEGA) takes a collaborative approach that will help support publishing in a user-centric, sustainable way. It can work around these ecosystem problems in an effort to show there is a better way, in hopes that we can change the trajectory we are on. And it does so with a public-benefit agenda as a U.S. 501(c)3 non profit organization.

The way out of this crisis is to respond to user needs by building a common platform to manage user identity and enable federated, single sign-on. The platform will meet producer needs by enabling producers to manage data exchange, share subscriptions, provide targeted ads and accept payments in a neutral, open, competitive marketplace.

ITEGA thus fosters a different, better tool for providers to share and distribute content that users want.  It provides common, shared rules and technologies for governing the use of personal data, privacy and identity — without government regulation or private-platform dominance.  End users will be able to choose among many places to manage their personal data, creating a competitive marketplace for privacy and content distribution that is driven by the public interest.

ITEGA has been called an “ICANN for identity.”  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation which governs global management and trust in domain names. ITEGA can do the same for personal identity. 

ITEGA will create opportunities for network subscriptions, and help the public discover more trustworthy information relevant to their personal needs and interests. It will do so as neutral third-party with no motive except the public interest in an open web marketplace of information and ideas. Once running, ITEGA will be self-supporting with revenue from member and exchange fees.
ITEGA will enable content providers to improve the relevance and value of service to end users by:

    • Standardizing opt-in exchange of user interests for content customization
    • Discouraging or prohibiting opaque, back-channel collection and mingling of personal-identifying information
    • Making it easier to accurately give users the right information at the right time

ITEGA will protect end users’ privacy and identity by fostering:

    • Standards for user control and anonymization of personal data
    • Structures for enforcing privacy promises made by service providers.
    • Competitive marketplaces for privacy offers and tools.

“Managing identity and privacy for the public is an important unmet challenge. There is no institution better positioned than local news organizations to provide this service to the public in the context of a trusted third party like ITEGA.”

        • Douglas K. Smith, Executive Director, Columbia Journalism School’s
          Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program

Learn about the problem/solutions


    • Shibboleth ​2-like cross-site authentication using Open ID Connect plus standardized formats for exchanging privacy-by-design user attributes (network subscription, access rights, interests, payment auth).
    • Identity​ ​services distributed among a plurality of providers
    • User-data​ ​exchange “anonymizing” for cohort-based advertising


    • ​Uniform, user-centric identity / opt in privacy-by-design, intended to be EU compliant
    • Option​ ​to develop or support small-payment aggregation services
    • ITEGA​ ​membership required; competition on services, price, applications

LEARN MORE: ITEGA one-pagers (printable PDF)