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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Mobile Operators as Identity Providers

Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
6:01 am

Luke Razzell recently pointed out David Birch’s post which read in part: “I was thinking that the position of the mobile handset as the basis of practical identity management in the real world is becoming unassailable. As Neil McEvoy points out in yesterday’s podcast, it passes all of the tests: it’s portable, has secure storage, has its own keyboard for PIN entry and so on.”

This is similar to the proposal by Sun’s CTO Greg Papadopolous for using mobile handsets for strong authentication that I blogged about here and here.

I also blogged here that a mobile operator’s greatest asset is its large directory full of subscriber Identity information.

If we accept those two assertions (mobile phone as strong authentication device) and (mobile operator identity repositories as existing, valuable asset), I propose that mobile operators are in a strong position to emerge as Identity Providers, not just for the services they deliver themselves, but for independent service providers who want to offer strong authentication and Identity verification to their e-commerce consumer experience or user-managed identity scenarios where a third-party identity verification is required.

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