Authentication plans push forward in spite of setbacks.
Will the dissolution of a key group developing email authentication standards stop the technology from being adopted by marketers? Groups representing email service providers and marketers say no.
Organizers said yesterday that the MTA Authorization Records in DNS (MARID) working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) was being shut down. They'd decided the group, meant to "fast track" email authentication standards, was hopelessly mired in controversy.
"Efforts to reach consensus by compromise and by inclusion have been attempted on multiple occasions," wrote Ted Hardie, co-area director of applications for the IETF, on the MARID group's email list. "Despite early hopes of success...the group remains divided on very basic issues."
E-mail authentication is meant to help stop phishing and spoofing by confirming that an email's purported sender did, indeed, send the message. The technology is thought to be a first step toward combating the spam problem.
Margaret Olson, technology committee chair of the E-Mail Service Providers Coalition, said the shutdown was no surprise given the lack of consensus. "From an email marketer's point of view, the breakup of MARID will cause some temporary confusion," she said, "but other than that, nothing has changed. The ESPC and others will continue to work together to evolve the authentication infrastructure."
Meanwhile, the ESPC, along with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and its Association for Interactive Marketers (AIM) subsidiary, recommend members comply with both Microsoft's Sender ID technology and the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) standard.
"Earlier indications were that compliance with only one of these standards would be necessary to authenticate your email across several ISPs," said Jordan Cohen, manager of public policy for the DMA. "Now, it will be necessary to get into compliance with both."
America Online recently said it would continue with its plans to implement SPF checking, rather than proceeding with testing of the Sender ID protocol. AOL will soon begin requiring senders on its whitelist to publish SPF records.
Microsoft, for its part, is widely expected to soon begin Sender ID checking on both Hotmail and MSN, though the company didn't respond to inquiries about its plans. Earthlink said it publishes SPF records, but didn't divulge plans for inbound checking. Yahoo, which has its own DomainKeys proposal, didn't respond to inquiries by press time.
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
Hong Kong, May 5-6, 2015
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
May 6, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT