Vendors rally for PKI market explosion

Vendors are betting on the unfolding of a multibillion dollar market for PKIsolutions in the coming months as governments and businesses roll out theire-procurement strategies.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' beTrusted, which provides e-business transactionservices, has just completed a report on the implementation of PKI (public keyinfrastructure) across more than half a dozen agencies within the SouthAustralian government.

The company partners with PKI providers Baltimore and Entrust and Computerworldunderstands the report was made available to the government this week.

A new entrant in the Australian market is TrustMarque International, which ispitching its smartcard electronic tendering system -- TenderTrust -- to fourstate governments that are about to launch e-procurement projects.

The e-tendering technology is presently being piloted at the UK's Office ofGovernment Commerce and is being used by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

TrustMarque's Pacific Rim sales director, Peter Burgess said Australia will bea "multibillion dollar" market over the next two years and the company ispositioning itself to seek opportunities.

Two companies are bidding to be the distributor of the company's products inAustralia and Burgess expects to make an announcement next month.

"We want to make TenderTrust the de facto tendering standard but need to getour resources in place here," he said.

The company also provides an online fraud solution -- RiskGuardian --which iscurrently being piloted by Dell Computers in Australia.

"Our software completes a 200-point check pre-transaction -- not after the fact-- and is used in high-risk industries such as online ticketing, consumer andelectrical sales," Burgess said.

Privacy and PKI

The use of public key infrastructure (PKI) could threaten privacy if notimplemented and administered correctly, deputy Federal Privacy CommissionerTimothy Pilgrim has warned.

Issuing a consultation paper for public discussion on privacy and PKI, Pilgrimsaid the paper will be used to develop privacy guidelines for secure onlinetransactions.

"Where online interactions replace traditional face-to-face dealings, we haveto think carefully about how privacy is maintained," he said.

Following consultation the guidelines will be used as a good practice guide forFederal Government agencies using PKI. Copies of the report are vailable -- Sandra Van Dijk

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