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CSIRO to pilot online privacy tool

CSIRO to pilot online privacy tool

IBM's Identity Mixer uses a cryptographic algorithm to encrypt the identity of users

CSIRO will be trialing an online privacy tool in March 2015 as part of a simulation exercise to evaluate the use of the technologies.

To maintain Australia's agricultural disease free status, the federal government has developed an emergency response plan to take action before an outbreak spreads. This plan involves bringing together government, academic and research organisations in a secure online environment.

IBM’s Identity Mixer will be used in a simulation exercise for the sharing of information by these organisations in Australia across several remote locations.

The tool uses a cryptographic algorithm to encrypt user information including their age, nationality, address and credit card number.

In addition, Identity Mixer can be used within a digital wallet, which contains credentials certified by a trusted third party, such as a government-issued electronic identity card.

CSIRO principal research scientist John Zic said that trials of the tool will conclude in November 2015.

"Depending on the outcomes of the pilots, the technologies coming out of the AU2EU project may see a path to commercialisation and eventual incorporation into future advanced collaboration systems.”

“If there is an emergency situation and you need strict controls on access to information that is coming from a database, than you need something like Identity Mixer to provide those strong credentials to authenticate," he said.

IBM is considering applications for the privacy tool in the consumer space as users can choose to reveal only selected pieces of information to third parties such as online retailers.

For example, if a consumer used the tool and shopped online, the company would only learn that the user's credit card is valid and that it can accept payment without revealing the credit card number or expiration date.

“Identity Mixer enables users to choose which data to share and with whom. Internet service providers can now improve their risk profile and enhance trust with customers." said IBM chief privacy officer Christina Peters in a statement.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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