Thursday, April 15, 2010

Microsoft U-Prove technology release: open standards and Community Technology Preview (CTP)

 

"Microsoft announces U-Prove technology, an advanced form of cryptographic protocols and tokens when combined with information cards, enables people to disclose a minimal amount of identifying information to access applications and services."

TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS

Microsoft U-Prove technology release: open standards and Community Technology Preview (CTP)

Microsoft Corporation, 2010

U-Prove, a privacy-enhancing security technology, helps address people's need to protect their identity-related information. U-Prove tokens make it possible for people to disclose minimal amounts of identifying information when they can access applications and services. At Microsoft, we are taking an initial step to make the U-Prove technology available to the public and interested parties.

First, we have partially opened up the U-Prove intellectual property with a cryptographic specification under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise (OSP). Two open source software toolkits are being donated —C# and Java editions—so the broadest audience of commercial and open source software developers can access the technology.

Second, we released a public Community Technology Preview (CTP), which is an integration of the U-Prove technology with the Microsoft identity platform technologies. The purpose of the CTP is to gather feedback from the technical community on the technology.

Although this release is a community preview, the U-Prove technology is especially important for enhancing the security and privacy of e-government initiatives and national ID programs. To demonstrate how minimal disclosure works, Microsoft has partnered on a project with Fraunhofer FOKUS, a research institute that hosts the German government's eID (electronic identification) system, which will begin to roll out electronic identity cards to citizens in 2010. The project brings together the legal, privacy, and technology aspects of the eID system and extends them into a university setting, featuring key capabilities of Microsoft's identity platform, information cards, and U-Prove tokens.

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