IBM to offer research tech that protects user privacy, security

IBM says Identity Mixer keeps important personal data safe

IBM this week said it will offer a technology it says uses a cryptographic algorithm to encrypt the certified identity attributes of a user, protecting privacy and enhancing security.

Known as Identity Mixer the technology basically prevents third parties or those looking to steal personal information from ever accessing such data in the first place by revealing only selected data to service providers.

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IBM offers this example: Consider a web-based video streaming service is offering several films that have age restrictions. To stream the 12+ movie, Alice needs to prove that she is at least 12 years of age and that she lives within the appropriate region. The typical way to do this would require Alice to enter her full date of birth and address, but this actually reveals more than is necessary. Identity Mixer can simply confirm that Alice is at least 12 without disclosing the month, date and year of her birth and reveal that she lives in the correct region, i.e. region 1, instead of her full address. This ensures that even if the video streaming service is hacked Alice’s personal data remains safe.

The user can apply this transformation as many times as she wants and still none of credentials can be linked to each other, IBM said.

IBM says Identity Mixer will soon be available as an experimental web service in IBM Bluemix, IBM’s new platform-as-service (PaaS).

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