SWITCH Identity Blog

The Identity Blog puts the spotlight on identity management, digital identities, identifiers, attributes, authentication and access management.


Verify your Private Postal Address

The Swiss edu-ID is a user-centric identity. This means that the identity is managed by its owner who directly provides many pieces of identity information in the personal profile.

But can a user be trusted? Will users provide correct personal information for their Swiss edu-ID?

Although users rarely have a interest in providing wrong personal information about themselves, the answer to the above question is no. For this reason, Swiss edu-ID has implemented various processes to verify user information. All email addresses and mobile phone numbers are directly verified when a user enters them in the personal profile.

As of today, users also can have their private postal address verified.

Unverified addresses are marked by a grey verification icon with red question mark

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Klicking the green arrow starts the verification process. A few days later, the user will receive a letter (yes – a real one on paper!) at the specified postal address with an activation code. After the user has entered the code in the Swiss edu-ID profile the address is verified. This is reflected with a golden verification icon in the profile

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The first service relying on this new feature is the  National Licenses project of the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries. Their aim is to give private individuals access to scientific publications. The publishers of scientific publications require some sort of proof of a user, that he/she is living in Switzerland. By relying on the verifications done within the Swiss edu-ID the national licenses service does not have to implement its own verification processes.

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Final Report on Market Analysis of IdM Solutions

In SWITCHaai, identity management is entirely the responsibility of the organisations participating as identity providers in the federation. With its successor, the Swiss edu-ID, elements of identity management tasks will be performed by SWITCH. SWITCH has conducted a market analysis (RFI) with the aim to identify existing identity management products that fit the Swiss edu-ID requirements, to evaluate these products, and to make a recommendation on the next steps in the project.

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Swiss edu-ID Detailed Architecture available now

The Swiss edu-ID Team is happy to announce the first revision of the Swiss edu-ID detailed architecture. It is a thorough description of the Swiss edu-ID federation, its participants and their roles, the information architecture, data models and identity management processes.

The architecture was developed based on the output of Swiss edu-ID working groups, the Swiss edu-ID high level architecture, and numerous presentations and follow-up discussions with university members during the past years. On this occasion we would like to express our gratitude for the great effort and support in our community!

The draft of the architecture document was reviewed by the Processes II Workgroup, subscribers of the Swiss edu-ID newsletter and external identity management experts. Of course, comments are still welcome at any time.

The document (direct PDF link) can be downloaded from the document section of the Swiss edu-ID website.


Could ORCID iD replace the Swiss edu-ID?

Before I bluntly say ‘no!’, let me try to explain why the question arises at all (and why it is reasonable to ask it).

The term ORCID ID actually refers to many things. Technically, it is 1) a unique identifier, 2) a login with a username and password and 3) personal attributes associated with the unique identifier. While I initially thought that the ORCID iD was only an identifier, it turned out that the ORCID community has built an extensive set of additional services over the last few years. Continue reading