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Identity management offering ways to better protect your privacy

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27 June 2007—Privacy and Identity Management in Europe – the PRIME Project has just released the second version of its White Paper. The document serves as an introduction into and overview of the PRIME Consortium’s findings shortly after entering the final phase of research.

Identity Management Systems are currently under development by various actors such as Microsoft and Liberty Alliance. The implementations are aimed at facilitating online identification, authentication and transaction. The broad introduction of Identity Management has tremendous potential to fill a gap in the current ICT infrastructure, which lacks an identity layer. Meanwhile, all major actors are aware that better identification may also pose increasing risks for the user’s privacy and autonomy. PRIME shows how to counter these risks.

The new White Paper provides an overview of PRIME’s vision of Privacy Enhancing Identity Management. It uses easy to understand scenarios to describe the PRIME Technology. As the reader follows the fictional character Alice on her way through an online shop, the use of pseudonyms and credentials is explained. The story also illustrates how high level requirements such as data minimisation and user control are integrated into the PRIME Software Architecture.

The PRIME Project is dedicated to a range of issues in Identity Management, including (but not limited to) standardisation, public tutorials, and developing prototypes. In a memo on Privacy Enhancing Technologies the European Commission refers to PRIME as significant ICT research in the field.

The guiding principle of PRIME is to put individuals in control of personal data. It follows an integrated approach for privacy and data protection, starting from maximum privacy. Enforcement of privacy policies is aimed at, where personal data are being released. Meanwhile, the user is put in the centre, offering easy abstractions of privacy, thus facilitating informed consent when personal data are processed. PRIME offers solutions, but also describes what remains to be done.

The PRIME White Paper is a must-read for privacy advocates as well as for those interested in the future identity layer of the Internet. It is an excellent starting point to dig deeper into the intricacies of Privacy Enhancing Technologies and Identity Management.

The PRIME White Paper can be downloaded for free.

For further information please contact prime@datenschutzzentrum.de.

General Information on PRIME:

  • Website: https://www.prime-project.eu/
  • Project duration: March 2004 - February 2008
  • Budget: about 13 million euro
  • Funding: The PRIME project receives research funding from the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme and the Swiss Federal Office for Education and Science
  • Project partners: Multidisciplinary consortium consisting of IBM (administration coordination: IBM Belgium; technical lead; IBM Zürich Research Laboratory, Switzerland);
    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven from Belgium;
    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/LAAS from France;
    Unabhängiges Landeszentrum für Datenschutz Schleswig-Holstein, Technische Universität Dresden, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, RWTH Aachen, Deutsche Lufthansa, and T-Mobile from Germany;
    Università di Milano, Joint Research Centre/IPSC, and Fondazione Centro San Raffaele del Monte Tabor from Italy;
    Universiteit van Tilburg and Erasmus University Rotterdam from the Netherlands;
    Karlstads Universitet from Sweden;
    Swisscom from Switzerland;
    Hewlett-Packard in the UK; and
    Chaum LLC from the USA
  • Contact: PRIME, c/o Marit Hansen, Unabhaengiges Landeszentrum fuer Datenschutz, Holstenstrasse 98, D-24103 Kiel, Germany
  • E-mail: prime@datenschutzzentrum.de
  • EC Contract No. IST-507591

About the PRIME project

Privacy and Identity Management for Europe — or PRIME — is a four-year research collaboration involving 20 partners from industry and academia. The project receives research funding from the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme and the Swiss Federal Office for Education and Science. IBM Research - Zurich is the technical leader of the project. It contributes to the development of data-protection mechanisms and privacy-enhancing authentication technologies that allow individuals to minimize the amount of personal data to be released.

About IBM Research - Zurich

IBM Research - Zurich (ZRL) is the European branch of IBM Research. This network of some 3500 employees in eight laboratories around the globe is the largest industrial research organization in the world. The Zurich laboratory itself currently employs about 330 people, representing more than 30 nationalities. World class research and outstanding scientific achievements, most remarkably two Nobel Prizes, are associated with this lab, which has been in existence since 1956. The spectrum of research activities at ZRL ranges from basic science and fundamental research in physics and mathematics to the development of computer systems and software to the designing of novel business models and services that are becoming available "On Demand".

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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