Announcing User-Managed Access: UMA Gives Data-Sharing Power to the People

Kantara Initiative has announced the release of a Draft Recommendation for the User-Managed Access (UMA) protocol. UMA heralds a new era of user-centric access control for web-based applications such as social networking sites, content-sharing portals, and personal clouds.

PISCATAWAY, NJ, USA – July 7, 2011 – As we spend more time online, our data becomes more prolific and widely dispersed across sites. Data privacy and security have become onerous issues. Kantara Initiative’s User-Managed Access Work Group (UMA WG) has published a Draft Recommendation for a user-managed data access protocol and contributed it to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards body to solve these problems.
UMA lets web application creators easily craft systems that give control of data back to the people. Any web-based data ecosystem can leverage UMA, including eHealth and eGov portals, social networking sites, photo sharing portals, and personal data stores. It offers individuals centralized security, privacy, and control for sharing data with friends and family, business associates, and organizations. And it allows apps to offer sophisticated privacy and sharing options without a lot of software development. One UMA implementation, the SMART system from Newcastle University, leverages Facebook friends for sharing; others could use the new Google+ Circles system, which allows sharing within circles of contacts.
Aad van Moorsel, Director of the Newcastle University Centre for Cybercrime and Computer Security, says: “The UK government will increasingly offer Internet-based services. The data shared in such services can be sensitive since it may include employment history, exam results or health information. UMA provides the technology to share such data safely, putting the citizen in control. We strongly believe UMA will be a cornerstone for future eGov services, and are working to publish our SMART software as an Open Source UMA implementation.
Mario Hoffmann, Head of Secure Services & Quality Testing of Fraunhofer AISEC, remarks: “User empowerment serves as a key enabler for trustworthy and trusted service usage on the Internet. UMA supports developers through a security -and privacy-by-design approach. The user-centric concept of UMA is the basis for managing access policies to personal, data, claims, and attributes in a unified, balanced and comfortable way.”
Drummond Reed, Founder and Chairman of Connect.Me, comments: “This milestone for UMA could not come at a better time – interest in user-managed data sharing is exploding. Social networks have made people more comfortable with online sharing, and now UMA brings us a standard way for users to share data across many different sites and services without losing control of that information. Connect.Me looks forward to bringing the power of UMA to our users.”
Iain Henderson, Co-Founder of the Mydex Community Interest Company, says: “The publication of the draft specs for UMA is a great step forward in enabling the individual to better realise the value of their personal information. The Mydex team sees this release as of direct relevance to a number of existing initiatives in both public and private sectors, and we look forward to deploying it later in 2011.”
The WG will demonstrate UMA’s benefits in a public webinar on Wednesday, July 13, at 9am Pacific time. All are welcome to attend.
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