With the Swiss edu-ID SWITCH will introduce many new features and enhancements to the already well established SWITCHaai service. However, one aspect is not just an improvement, but rather a paradigm shift: the change from organisation-centric to user-centric identity management.
Why is user-centricity so important? Let’s recap two mayor features of the Swiss edu-ID: a user does not necessarily have to be affiliated with a university to possess and use a Swiss edu-ID – or contrariwise, the user is concurrently affiliated with more than one university in more than one role. Associating the identity management to organizations would mean that possibly no organisation would be in charge, or multiple organisations tryoing to manage one identity which may lead to conflicts and duplicates. Therefore, identity management has to be user-centric.
In the early days of SWITCHaai SWITCH has promoted its concept of a national identity federation on a pan-european level in the Géant community. The ultimate result was the eduGAIN service which effectively allows SWITCHaai (and other federations’) users to use services of universities and other providers across national borders. In a similar way, SWITCH now supports the user-centric approach to manage identities in the Géant community. Together with partners from Netherlands and Italy SWITCH has contributed to the eduKEEP concept, which analyzes possible user-centric scenarios on a european level.
You can find more information on eduKEEP including a nice summary at the very end of the page https://wiki.geant.org/display/gn41jra3/Task+1+-+Attributes+and+Authorisations