You are here: Resources > FIDIS Deliverables > Interoperability > D4.1: Structured account of approaches on interoperability > 
Executive Summary  Foreword
INTRODUCTION
 Database of papers and projects

 

Introduction

James Backhouse, LSE 

 

Workpackage 4 is the part of the FIDIS Network of Excellence that deals with issues of interoperability of identities and IMS.  When using identities as a means of controlling access to ever-larger online and public information systems, especially e-government and e-business systems, the issue of interoperability is a crucial one. In the context of the aims of the European Union and the desire to align and integrate the systems of electronic public administration and health, to support the mobility of European citizens and their equal treatment no matter which country they may migrate to for work or for pleasure, the goal of interoperability presents an exciting and vital challenge.  

 

This Workpackage has the goal of studying the factors that can aid the interoperation of identity systems and has close links with other Workpackages.  Think for example of law enforcement agencies throughout Europe that may be tackling crime and terrorism, or public health bodies that, in some emergency, need to access vital medical data on their respective subjects who are temporarily resident in other European countries, or, again, public administrations that need to coordinate the payment of pensions that derive from different periods of employment in various European countries, to be paid in yet another country. To even reach first base on interoperation, there needs to be some basic agreement about underlying terminology regarding identity management and hence Workpackage 2 is one that has close connections with this one, and our researchers have contributed to it. Workpackage 3 on Hi-Tech IDs with its focus on PKI and biometrics also raises interoperability issues.  Especially relevant is the need for IMS to be able to authenticate using identity information already verified in third party systems, such as already happens with paper-based passport systems.  WP5 with its interest in identity theft and privacy, also has reflections for interoperability. One aspect of interoperability is the perception by the agents operating the systems that the same guarantees and protection of personal information prevails in the other systems with which co-working is being proposed. By contrast, there may be issues of deliberately wishing to deny interoperability in order to protect identities from theft.  Profiling (Workpackage 7) will require IMS to be interoperable where the data being mined is drawn from many different systems, as might happen in law enforcement or electronic medicine.

 

This deliverable 4.1 is intended as the starting point for the study of interoperability and reviews work being undertaken in research and implementation projects in the area, both in Europe and beyond, where issues of identity management and interoperation are critical.  Further, it integrates work from FIDIS contributors in different aspects of this same agenda and highlights the many-sided nature of the issue. An overarching framework spanning technical, formal and informal meta-concepts is introduced and adopted as a perspective through which the many aspects of interoperability may be examined in a coherent fashion. It is hoped that the framework acts as a unifying mechanism across the disciplines.

 

This deliverable contains, inter alia, a literature review of papers deemed to fall within the subject and a review of ongoing projects, especially EU-funded ones, that do likewise. It has produced a database of key papers on interoperability, rating each one for relevance in terms of the underlying meta-concepts of technical, formal and informal focus. Further, the deliverable presents work from FIDIS partners on a variety of systems that all touch on aspects of interoperability, including G2C interactions - , drivers’ licenses, passports, the introduction of e-IDs across Europe, Ambient technology and its link with identity systems and its requirement for interoperability.

 

In the next section (Chapter 3), we present the result of our literature review in the form of the database of papers and projects which is now available to all FIDIS members in the internal website. This research tool has helped in the writing of this document. We also present a review of key EU interoperability projects and review two databases of EU funded projects: CORDIS and eTEN (more information in next chapter).

 

In Section 4, we discuss the concept of interoperability, aiming to develop a common understanding of this topic. We analyse interoperability in three levels: technical, formal and informal. We then apply this conceptualisation in analysing key eID projects in Europe. 

 

Section 5 discusses in detail the social dimension of interoperability in IMS. Section 6 analyses how the issue of interoperability is inherent to IMS and unfolds the complexity in this domain. In the next chapter Section 7, we analyse the complexity of identity management in Government-to-Citizen relationships. We then in Section 8 discuss interoperability in the context of the use of credentials in e-commerce.  Sections 9 and 10 present two case studies. The first looks at electronic ID systems and the second at AmI environments and a future scenario of total interoperability.  The last chapter (chapter 11) presents the overall conclusions to this deliverable.

 

 

Executive Summary  fidis-wp4-del4.1.account_interoperability_02.sxw  Database of papers and projects
3 / 15