IBM has revealed plans for a cloud-centric data protection technology dubbed Identity Mixer. The tool will allow consumers to exercise more control over the information that they choose to share online, including date of birth, home address and credit card numbers.

“Identity Mixer enables users to choose precisely which data to share, and with whom”, said Christina Peters, IBM’s Chief Privacy Officer. “Now web service providers can improve their risk profile and enhance trust with customers, and it’s all in the cloud, making it easy for developers to program.”

The certified identity attributes of a user, from their age to their credit card number, et al., are encrypted with a cryptographic algorithm, to only allow selective sharing of information with third parties. Identity Mixer can be used within a digital wallet, which contains credentials certified by a trusted third party, such as a government-issued electronic identity card, explains IBM. The credential issuing authority has no access to the usage data.

Citing comScore findings, IBM points out that a person spends nearly 25 hours a month* on the internet with different Internet services, banking, shopping and social networking, creating profiles with potentially delicate data for all the different services. Without ample security, such data in wrong hands could be costly.

With a decade of research backing the concept of minimal disclosure of identity-related data to reality, Identity Mixer is now available for both computers and mobile device transactions notes Dr. Jan Camenisch, cryptographer and co-inventor of Identity Mixer at IBM Research.

Earlier it was available for download and demonstrated to work on smart cards. Now developers have access to an easy-to-use web service in IBM Bluemix, IBM’s new platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud that combines the strength of IBM software, third-party and open technologies.

Scientists at IBM are also working with academic and industrial partners in Europe and Australia in a two-year pilot project called Authentication and Authorization for Entrusted Unions (AU2EU), worth  8.6-million euro, to further demonstrate the new cloud version of Identity Mixer in two scenarios: in Germany with the Red Cross, and with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, announced IBM.

(Image credit: IBM)

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