Have you ever invited professional burglars to break into your home to steal your valuables? For the edu-ID service we have done exactly that, and we even paid for it. The valuables in our case is identity data from all edu-ID users. However, the “professional burglars” were actually very kind, professional and skilled security experts from Compass Security.
The SWITCH identity federation was conceived almost two decades ago. The SWITCHaai service, implementing its concepts, has been in operation for over a decade. Today, the SWITCH edu-ID service is in its initial stages to become its successor, and it is still following the same model: to stay the identity federation of the Swiss academic community. That is reason enough to address those two rather fundamental questions:
- Are national identity federations still the right approach to satisfy the needs of the academic community – a community with increasing international collaboration?
- Will emerging e-ID services, or services like SwissID, eventually replace the SWITCH identity federation?
Both question the remits of the current solution: national and academic. But they differ in perspective: while the first is questioning the national remit, the second is questioning the academic-only context. Continue reading