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Three smartphone digital identity and privacy projects are getting funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The projects cover mobile device attribute verification, mobile authentication, and physical access control. DHS awarded $2.4 million to the Kantara Initiative, and these three projects are the first launched by the Kantara Identity and Privacy Incubator Program (KIPI).

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The three KIPI projects involve Mobile Device Attribute Verification (MDAV) from Lockstep Technologies, Australia; Emergency Responder Authentication System for Mobile Users (ERASMUS) from Gluu Inc., USA; and Derived Credentials and NFC for Physical Access Control from Exponent Inc., USA.

“Each of these projects being delivered under KIPI are pioneering new areas in digital identity, privacy and access control,” said Kantara’s executive director, Colin Wallis, “The basis for each project is a unique re-configuration of emerging next generation standards and specifications delivered through mobile devices, like smartphones. The trend of leveraging the ubiquitous mobile device for digital identity solution continues to ramp worldwide.”

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Lockstep’s MDAV uses certificates to ensure secure attributes, attribute sources and devices. Certificates are already used by security departments to verify users’ mobile devices; but developing an application to deliver the process widens its applicability.

Potential applications include credentials for first responders, value added mobile driver’s licenses, anonymous proof of age, clinical trial and e-health record confidentiality, electronic travel documentation, and privacy-enhanced national IDs, Kantara officials said.

Gluu’s ERASMUS is for multiple autonomous organizations who need to share up-to-date information about a person’s identity, skills and authorizations. It is relevant in the emergency responder community, where state, local and federal government organizations need to collaborate in person and online, Kantara said.

ERASMUS is also the first implementation of Kantara’s Open Trust Taxonomy for Federation Operators (OTTO) standard.

The Exponent project is the development of smartphone NFC capabilities for physical access control. The employee uses the phone in the same way as their physical Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Card to access a building, but the phone implementation provides improved convenience as well as options for difficult use cases such as a lost/stolen card or temporary credentials for non-PIV Card holders, Kantara said.

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