This could be good news for many consumers.
IBM Identity Mixer, available on Bluemix, now enables developers to build apps which do two things people are crying out for: protection of consumer privacy and the thwarting of identity theft.
This new tool is designed to protect a consumer’s personally identifiable information and is available on the IBM Cloud.
“Accessible to developers on Bluemix, IBM’s Cloud platform, Identity Mixer, is built on years of cryptography research, and holds the key to helping to reduce identity theft happening as the result of sharing personal data on mobile and web apps,” said IBM in an official statement. “Using algorithms, the tool allows developers to build apps which can authenticate users’ identities without collecting personal data, otherwise known as a “zero-knowledge proof.”
How does it actually work?
“For example, consider an online streaming movie service app which requires users to verify that they have a paid subscription and that they are not a minor. Traditionally, the user would enter in his or her full date of birth, along with a number of other personal details which aren’t necessary, such as first and last name, location, etc.,” explained IBM.
“Using Identity Mixer, however, the app can simply verify the authenticity of the user’s claims of being above a certain age and having a subscription — without having to collect any other details or to interact. Because no other personally identifiable data is exchanged, companies do not have the burden of protecting and securing this data, and users no longer have the risk of their data being exposed to malicious third parties,” IBM added.
The tool was developed by scientists at IBM’s Research facilities in Zurich, Switzerland.
What Identity Mixer does is authenticate users by asking them to provide a public key. In brief, each user has a single secret key which corresponds with multiple public keys, or identities.
“Each transaction a user makes receives a different public key and leaves no privacy ‘breadcrumbs,’” notes IBM.