User-Managed Access for Higher Education: UMA Enables Secure, Private College Transcript Sharing

Kantara Initiative announces revision 5 of the User-Managed Access (UMA) protocol and a free public webinar on October 17 about UMA’s benefits for higher education data sharing.
PISCATAWAY, NJ, USA – October 11, 2012 – Valuable personal data about us resides in dozens of different web locations, and we frequently contend with the challenges of sharing it securely and privately among limited circles of associates. One example is college transcripts, which contain sensitive information to which prospective employers and job search sites need access but which students struggle to share in a timely, trustworthy, and secure way. Kantara Initiative’s User-Managed Access (UMA) Work Group published revision 5 of its data access protocol on October 1 to solve such challenges.
UMA lets web application creators easily craft systems that give control of data to their users. Any web-based data ecosystem can leverage UMA, including eHealth and eGov portals, social networking sites, and personal data stores. It offers individuals centralized security, privacy, and control over sharing data with friends and family, business associates, and organizations. And it allows apps to offer sophisticated privacy and sharing options without extensive software development. One UMA implementation, the SMART system developed at Newcastle University, is working to help students control the sharing of Transcripts of Records and other personal data hosted on University systems with future employers. Recently, the system was integrated with the UK Federation to provide these benefits to other British universities.
Maciej Machulak, SMART team leader and CEO of Cloud Identity Ltd, comments, “Over the years, universities have significantly reduced the paperwork students have to deal with, now providing services online for academic data management. We believe User-Managed Access is a key technology to securely open up access to this data and give students full control. With UMA, students can share their online data selectively when forming collaboration groups for research projects or when applying for post-graduate jobs.”
“UMA is doing some of the most important work in the online world today,” declares Doc Searls, director of Project VRM and author of The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge. “Nothing matters more than empowering users to manage everything that’s theirs, and UMA is at the forefront of that. Lots of great work has already been done, and much more remains.”
“The Attribute Exchange Network (AXN) relies on User-Managed Access to help simplify, and deploy a business model for, online identity verification for participants in the ‘identity ecosystem’ envisioned by The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC),” said David Coxe, CEO of ID Dataweb.  “UMA enables AXN users to manage their identity attributes in simple, transparent, and secure ways, thereby strengthening online trust.”
On Wednesday, October 17, at 8am Pacific time, the UMA Work Group will conduct a free public webinar to discuss and provide live demonstrations of UMA’s benefits for the higher education community and other communities where data sharing presents security and privacy challenges. All are welcome to attend. Find webinar information at Follow the group on Twitter at @UMAWG.
Kantara Initiative is a robust and open focal point for collaboration to address the issues we all share across the identity community: Interoperability and Compliance Testing; Identity Assurance; Policy and Legal Issues; Privacy; Ownership and Liability; UX and Usability; Cross-Community Coordination and Collaboration; Education and Outreach; Market Research; Use Cases and Requirements; Harmonization; and Tool Development.
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About the UMA Work Group


Media Contact
Joni Brennan,
Kantara Initiative
Executive Director