The Keio Research Institute at SFC and Fujitsu has announced Japan’s first successful field trials of a self-sovereign identity technology conducted between March 17 and April 12, 2022.
The new technology facilitates the distribution of digitally managed information attributable to individuals (digital identity) between different organizations and services by using an interconnected identity platform.
In the trial, a digital student ID issued for the trial via Keio University’s Next-Generation Digital Identity Platform was converted by an identity conversion gateway developed by Fujitsu to test the use of different online services linked to an identity platform that uses Fujitsu’s digital identity exchange (“IDentitY eXchange”) technology.
Fujitsu and the Keio Research Institute at SFC confirmed during the trial that the required information of students could be disclosed to the different services and the information was shared correctly. Put into practical use, this system allows users to link personal information issued by companies, universities, and local governments with various services, delivering a wider range of convenient services linked to students’ digital identities. Possible usage includes offering student discount services for travel agencies or providing job hunting and recruitment support tailored to students’ needs after graduation.
Based on the results of the trials, on April 1, 2022 the Keio Research Institute at SFC and Fujitsu established the “Trusted Internet Architecture Laboratory” on Keio University’s Shonan Fujisawa Campus as a joint research base for designing architectures and developing technologies for the secure use of Internet services leveraging the new digital identity technology.
In recent years, self-sovereign identities, which allow individuals to manage their personal information and provide only the necessary information to service providers, have increasingly attracted attention as a means of reducing the risk of information leakage. Personal information required for online services, including identity verification, qualifications, and personal resumes, is often managed by different individual organizations (local governments for address information, companies for employment information, universities for academic information, and other organizations for professional qualifications) and can prove difficult to utilize and distribute between different organizations and services.
Technical standards for digital identities that make it possible to utilize and distribute information between different organizations and services offer the potential to realize greater convenience for a variety of services. Different services require different types of information, however, and the levels of information an individual wants to disclose may vary from service to service. In order to provide users with more convenient services, it is thus necessary to interconnect the multiple identity infrastructures with its various protocols.
To address these issues, the Keio Research Institute at SFC and Fujitsu started collaboration on the development of digital identity technology in September 2021. As a result of this collaboration, Fujitsu developed an identity conversion gateway that allows multiple identity infrastructures to be seamlessly interconnected without using a unified protocol.