Online identification and authentication keeps transactions secure on the Internet, however this has also implications for your privacy.
Disclosing more personal information than needed online when, say, you log in to your bank website may simplify the bank’s security at the cost of your privacy. Now, thanks to research by the EU-funded project Attribute-based Credentials for Trust ABC4Trust , there is a new approach that keeps systems secure and protects your identity.
For example, at Norrtullskolan secondary school in Söderhamn, Sweden, pupils can access counselling services online. However, until recently the pupils couldn’t access these services using a pseudonym – they had to identify themselves by name so the school could check whether they were allowed to use them.
But in the ABC4Trust pilot scheme, each child is issued with a ‘deck’ of digital certificates that validate information like their enrolment status, their date of birth and so on. This allows the school pupils to enjoy both privacy and security. Instead of having to reveal their whole identity when using the counselling service they can simply use one of the certificates in their deck that pseudonymously verifies they are enrolled at the school.