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John Clippinger Quoted in the Boston Globe


Today, the Boston Globe runs a story about a promising cross-industry project on user-centric identity that is directed by my colleague Dr. John Clippinger at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School. It has now become public that the Berkman Center together with an industry consortium of tech companies, including IBM Corp. and Novell Inc., is working on an open security project – code-named Higgins – aimed at creating code that gives users more control over their online identities. John is quoted as follows:

“For individuals, such a system promises a ‘single sign-on’ enabling the sharing with third parties of personal information, ranging from bank and credit card accounts to medical records and phone numbers, said John H. Clippinger, senior fellow at the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School.

Clippinger said the system will enable people to share tiers of their digital data with different parties, giving broader access to doctors, for example, than to cable companies.

‘The web wasn’t designed with a security layer in it, so we’re addressing that missing piece,’ Clippinger said. ‘This is a whole new system called ‘open security’ where the control point is the individual.’

Recently, I commented on this blog on the merits of user-centric identity systems – sometimes referred to as Identity 2.0 – from a privacy perspective. After the discussions at the workshop mentioned in the previous post, I’m more convinced than ever that the approach taken by Clippinger et al – despite remaining challenges, which, BTW, were fully acknowledged by the leading technologists at the workshop – has the potential to solve some of the thorniest pivacy issues on the web.

I trust that we’ll get back to this issue before the June conference mentioned in the Globe. In any event, stay tuned.

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