Archives for posts with tag: identity-management

In a previous blog post I discussed the difference in security and flexibility between attribute based credentials (used in our IRMA project) and the German eID system. Now I will discuss the additional privacy protection offered by attributed based credentials, compared to a more centralised approach where attributes are stored on one or more central servers.

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In our IRMA project we develop a platform to support attribute based credentials (ABC) on a smart card. We believe the IRMA scheme is more secure and more flexible than the attestation based approach (as used by the German eID system, that use the placeholder name Mustermann on their sample cards). Below I will explain why.

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Many countries that have an electronic identity (eID) system attach the eID chip to a classical identity card. From a historical perspective this is a natural approach (eIDs have evolved from the electronic or biometric passports). However, as a consequence, people can only own at most a single eID, and a significant group of citizens are excluded from owning an eID at all. This severely affects the coverage and inclusiveness of eID applications, and even prevents the implementation of certain types of eID applications.

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Ideally, a relying party that needs to verify certain attributes of a user would do so all by himself. However, in the new German eID system there are currently 7 so called eID service providers that handle this task on behalf of many relying parties. The Germans did this to allow service providers to quickly adopt the new eID system, because they can simply contract an eID service provider instead of implementing the functionality themselves. However, this creates a hotspot. For all users the eID service provider sees all attributes verified for all relying parties it services. The eID service provider is therefore in principle able to link a user to all the relying parties it visits, together with the relevant attributes. This appears to be a serious privacy risk. Or isn’t it?

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In a previous blog post I argued that identity cards should not be used to store anonymous credentials. The reason being that users may not believe that a card that is used to identify them in one context, can also be used anonymously in another. But last Friday, in a meeting with Martijn Oostdijk among others, I heard an interesting reason why anonymous credentials perhaps should be stored on an identity card anyway.

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Bedrijven reageren onvoldoende of helemaal niet op inzageverzoeken. Daartoe zijn ze wel wettelijk verplicht. Waarom reageren ze dan zo onbeholpen? En hoe kan dat veranderen?

De oorzaak ligt wellicht in het feit dat bedrijven over het algemeen maar weinig inzageverzoeken ontvangen. Zo is bekend dat ook maar weinig mensen Google Dashboard raadplegen (om te kijken hoe Google omgaat met de persoonsgegevens die ze bewaart). En omdat ze maar weinig verzoeken tot inzage krijgen, hebben ze kennelijk geen goede bedrijfsprocessen ge├»mplementeerd om zo’n verzoek correct te beantwoorden.

Dat laatste is wel opmerkelijk, en eigenlijk ook wel zorgelijk, en onzorgvuldig.

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I maintain a calendar of Security, Privacy and Cryptography related events. In fact it is a public Google calendar, that can be accessed directly as well.

This calendar contains most international, scientific conferences, symposia or workshops on security, privacy or cryptography, including submission deadlines (in a separate sub-calendar). To be included on the calendar, send your Call for Papers as described here.