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D4.2: Set of requirements for interoperability of Identity Management Systems

Barriers for interoperability  FIDIS
 Role of government, merchants and users to foster interoperability


Actions and relative importance at the technical, legal and cultural levels

At the technical level Robben mentions a number of existing standards that could be used for the interconnection of networks (TCP/IP, etc), information exchange (XML, UML, PDF…) and security (SSL, X509). Therefore he thinks that the technical dimension is not too complex. He proposes the following five principles for interoperability:

  • Information modelling: mapping information use and its key stakeholders

  • Single collection and re-use of information: information should only be collected once and by certified bodies in the government 

  • Information management: active management of useful information

  • Electronic information exchange: maximise re-use and synergies between functions that require data from the users

  • Protection of information: users should be assured of data protection through good internal practices.


Neke says that from a technical perspective standards and open platforms can be implemented. She points out that these initiatives require political support. Müller says that a legal framework/general conditions for the definition of clear technical standards should be created, responsibilities assigned, and independent, certified trust centres should be fostered.


For Robben, the most important dimension is the cultural and institutional. Neke also views politics, society and institutions as the priority. For Müller, the most important is the legal/policy dimension, followed by technology and then cultural/institutional which will develop on its own.


Otter stated that the privacy issue was a major point of discussion while conceptualising the eCard. The Austrian parliament had to introduce two new laws in order to create the necessary legal basis for the eCard concept. The new laws were designed according to the Austrian egovernment Strategy 


According to Otter, every doctor and hospital in Austria will be equipped with a “Medical Practice Unit” (MPU). In a first phase, over 12,000 of these readers will be installed. The MPU consists of software client and a card reader. At the technical level, Otter suggests the development of further standards, more specifically to agree on clear “exchange tables” of the EU’s national citizens registers. 


Otter believes that the cultural/institutional level is the hardest to achieve and the technological most likely to be the easiest one. Awareness is critical and he demonstrated and compared the eCard project to the introduction of ATM machines. Only 3-4 years after the first installation of an ATM, the concept of getting money by using a bankcard and a PIN was explained in Austrian school books and thought about in primary schools. This kind of public relations is of extreme importance in rendering a sophisticated and completely new system widely accepted among the public 




Barriers for interoperability  fidis-wp4-del4_2.set_of_requirements_03.sxw  Role of government, merchants and users to foster interoperability
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