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Signs of identity management in the mobile world

Feb 08, 20062 mins
Access ControlNetworking

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

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.