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Signs of identity management in the mobile world

Why iotum's Relevance Engine could be relevant to ID mgmt.

Security Identity Management Alert By Dave Kearns, Network World
February 08, 2006 11:22 AM ET
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I didn't expect to find a lot of interest to this newsletter at the Emerging Telephony conference a couple of weeks ago, and I didn't. NetMesh founder and CEO Johannes Ernst was there, trying to spread the virtues of user-centric identity to the mobile phone community. He claims to have been very surprised by the number of mentions identity got during one day's sessions.

I was drawn to another company - iotum. The company claims that its first product, the iotum Relevance Engine, is the world's first smart platform to intelligently assess the relevance of a phone call, and route it to the most appropriate device across any network. Quite a mouthful, but also not particularly identity-based, you might say. Well "Tosh!", I say. Take a look at the diagram iotum uses to promote the Relevance Engine. Go ahead, take a look. In it you should recognize all of the elements of identity context that I keep reiterating.

Just in case you've been asleep for the past five years, the identity context I refer to is the who, what, when, where, how and why of an identity transaction:

* Who - which digital object is initiating the transaction?

* What - Which digital resource is the "Who" trying to reach?

* When - Is it during office hours, the last day of the quarter, June?

* Where - Is the "Who" in their office, at home, in a public kiosk?

* How - Is the "Who" using a desktop, a laptop, a cell phone?

* Why - less easy to determine but we can ask the "Who" to provide an answer, either free form or from a menu.

The iotum chart talks about "time," "space," "environment" and "identity" with further explanation:

* Time - Day or night, calendar date, work-time, leisure-time, education-time (WHEN).

* Space - physical or geolocation, virtual or electronic location, platform, device (WHERE, HOW).

* Environment - presence (or absence) of others, security, privacy, current activity; (WHERE, WHY).

* Identity - name, address, group, interests (WHO, WHAT).

In the fall of 2004, I predicted a convergence of the mobile space with the identity space. It's taking longer than I thought, but the signs are there and they all point to a converged tomorrow.

Read more about security in Network World's Security section.

Dave Kearns is a consultant and editor of IdM, the Journal of Identity Management.

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