UMA and Life Management Platforms

Back in 2012, KuppingerCole introduced the concept of Life Management Platforms. This concept aligns well with the VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) efforts of ProjectVRM, however it goes beyond in not solely focusing on the customer to vendor relationships. Some other terms occasionally found include Personal Clouds (not a very concrete term, with a number of different meanings) or Personal Data Stores (which commonly lack the advanced features we expect to see in Life Management Platforms).

One of the challenges in implementing Life Management Platforms until now has been the lack of standards for controlling access to personal information and of standard frameworks for enforcing concepts such as minimal disclosure. Both aspects now are addressed.

On one hand, we see technologies such as Microsoft U-Prove and IBM Idemix being ready for practical use, which recently has been demonstrated in an EU-funded project. On the other hand, UMA is close to final, a standard that allows managing authorization for information that is stored centrally. It moves control into the hands of the “data owner”, instead of the service provider.

UMA is, especially in combination with U-Prove and/or Idemix, an enabler for creating Life Management Platforms based on standard and COTS technology. Based on UMA, users can control what happens with their content. They can make decisions on whether and how to share information with others. On the other hand, U-Prove and Idemix allow enforcing minimal disclosure, based on the concepts of what we called “informed pull” and “controlled push”.

Hopefully we will see a growing number of offerings and improvements to existing platforms that make use of the new opportunities UMA and the other technologies provide. As we have written in our research, there is a multitude of promising business models that respect privacy – and not only for business models that destroy privacy. Maybe the release of UMA is the priming for successful Life Management Platform offerings.


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