Research in PetWeb II

The project addresses societal challenges concerning the future of electronic identifiers and electronic identities. The implication of such identities range from today's crime ("identity theft") to long-term privacy implications and fundamental rights such as informational self-determination.Electronic identifiers penetrate all aspects of information systems and their contact with society - ranging from e-mail addresses up to social security numbers and electronic passports. The computerization of administration and private business requires management of various aspects of people's identities on information systems.Identifiers, passwords, personal profiles, pseudonyms, person numbers, social security numbers, patient numbers and various other identifiers such as e-mail addresses, credit card numbers, passport numbers and bank account numbers are used to uniquely identify information system users or citizens. Some of these identifiers and their attached authentication and identity information are very mobile, and spread into many information systems and purposes. As recently discussed concerning the Norwegian citizen person number, such a function shift can pose serious risk to government and citizens, and open opportunities for criminals, such as:

  • Identity theft and fraud based on stolen electronic identifiers are growing
  • Person number schemes likely to have sufficient flaws in combination with networked application;Several Norwegian governmental organizations are searching for new electronic identifier schemes and identity management approaches
  • The privacy implications of a life-long electronic citizen identifier in the social and health system are vast
  • Societal security and administrative/economic efficiency are dependent on efficient use of the identity management scheme.

Funding comes from the Research Council of Norway in the VERDIKT programme (Grant agreement no: 193030)