Europe Undertakes Privacy and Security Research

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A research project under way in Europe aims to develop systems to help people protect and share their personal digital information.

The four-year project, called ABC4Trust, will run two pilot tests in Greece and Sweden of a system that will mesh existing identity technologies from IBM, Microsoft and Nokia Siemens Networks.

ABC, which stands for attribute-based credentials, is centered around users only providing the minimal information required. For example, rather than show an entire birthday with an identity document, a user would be able to show only that they are over 18 years old.

The Swedish trial will take place at a secondary school in Norrtullskolan. The identity system will let students and parents authenticate themselves with medical and counseling services offered by the school.

The other trial, at the Research Academic Computer Technology Institute in Patras, Greece, is also centered on education. Students will be able to vote to rank courses and lecturers without revealing their identity.

ABC4Trust will use IBM's Identity Mixer and Microsoft's U-Prove technologies, which will be meshed together using other technology from Nokia Siemens Networks Research.

The project, which started last fall, will run for four years. The European Union contributed €8.85 million (US$12.1 million) for the project, which is budgeted at €13.5 million.

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