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Privacy by Design Architecture Composed of Identity Agents Decentralizing Control over Digital Identity

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Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.


Proposed is an identity architecture that satisfies the principles of privacy by design, decentralizes control over digital identity from providers to users, mitigates breach and impersonation risks, and reduces dependency on remote access passwords. The architecture is composed of interoperating identity agents that work on behalf of their owners and deploy digital identities that are virtualized to look and behave like identities found in one’s wallet and contacts list. Encapsulating authentication data, identity agents strongly bind owners to their digital identities and private keys enabling them to prove who they are, protect their private data, secure transactions, conduct identity proofing, and reliably delegate consent. Identity agents also off-load application services from identity-related and privacy-related tasks. A gestalt privacy by design process has been used to discover the architecture’s privacy requirements and design elements and systematically reason about how the design elements satisfy the privacy requirements. Identity-related functionality has been intentionally compartmentalized within identity agents to focus development on creating trustworthy software. A reference model for development derived from the described identity architecture is proposed.


Toth, Kalman C.; Cavoukian, Ann; Anderson-Priddy, Alan (2020): Privacy by Design Architecture Composed of Identity Agents Decentralizing Control over Digital Identity. Open Identity Summit 2020. DOI: 10.18420/ois2020_14. Bonn: Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.. PISSN: 1617-5468. ISBN: 978-3-88579-699-2. pp. 163-170. Short Paper. Copenhagen, Denmark. 26.-27. May 2020