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Liberty Alliance issues mobile business guidelines; payments and home banking referenced

25 February 2004  |  792 views  |  0

The Liberty Alliance today released its second business guideline document, outlining near-term market opportunities and business requirements for federated identity in the mobile market. The document examines how mobile operators, equipment providers, content and service providers as well as vendors and users can take advantage of the growth and demand for mobile services, and in turn, how Liberty's open standard can enable secure delivery of Web services.

"Federated identity has the potential to bring mobile networks and personalised services to the next level," said Paola Tonelli, member of the Liberty Alliance management board and senior director of industry advocacy at Vodafone (LSE: VOD.L - news - msgs) . "However, federated identity is about more than just technology. The best practices and business guidelines that Liberty is delivering can help companies overcome some of the more complex challenges associated with federated identity deployments, such as privacy and security issues."

The mobile business guidelines, a Tier 2 document in Liberty's evolving library of business guidelines for federated identity deployment, expands on Liberty's Tier 1 overview delivered July 2003. Additional Tier 2 guidelines are in development with expected delivery later this year.

Benefiting the Mobile Ecosystem

Federated identity, which securely links and manages identity information among different systems, offers a number of benefits to the mobile industry:

-- For service providers, it helps authenticate who the user is, what he or she can access, and at the user's request, quickly gather preferences to deliver personalised services.
-- For operators, it provides an open framework for identity data roaming within and across global networks, allowing them to easily deliver revenue-generating services to more customers.
-- For consumers and businesses, it means they have access to valuable low-cost services from any operator while still retaining control of their information.

Liberty Alliance enables these and other benefits, and is the only complete federated identity framework being implemented across the mobile ecosystem today. Liberty's global member base collectively represents more than 200 million mobile subscribers, more than half the world's mobile devices, 80% of all SIMs and 55% of the mobile network infrastructure.

"Liberty Alliance has what it takes to become the chosen identity standard for mobile deployments," said Timo Skytta, vice president of the Liberty Alliance and senior manager at Nokia (Helsinki: news) . "The active participation and support of several top mobile industry companies makes Liberty standards a natural fit for this space."

Liberty Alliance standards interoperate across systems, have privacy- enhancing features built into the protocols, and provide a business framework under which parties can interact with reduced risk.

The mobile guidelines, a valuable resource to those incorporating federated identity into their systems, addresses the following business issues that must be considered during planning and deployment:

-- Establishing mutual confidence and minimum quality standards
-- Developing a comprehensive risk management strategy
-- Defining liability and dispute resolution mechanisms
-- Complying with agreed-upon standards and relevant legislation

In addition to the issues referenced above, the mobile business guidelines also highlight the immediate market opportunities for federated identity and Liberty's open architecture. Specifically addressed are Liberty's benefits in the remote payment (i.e. e-commerce) and access control markets (i.e. home banking or VPN access), which require a stronger authentication mechanism than provided by passwords.

The guidelines show how businesses can use Liberty's federated identity model to improve authentication and security for almost half of what current authentication methods cost. Finally, the paper provides insight into how operators can use Liberty's specifications to open new revenue streams from trusted partners.

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