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NEC Develops ID Federation Technology to Enable Security of Multiple-Service IDs

*****For immediate use December 5, 2007

Tokyo, December 5, 2007 - NEC Corporation today announced the development of a new technology that can simultaneously offer security and privacy for ID management systems, allowing users to securely enjoy services provided by multiple organizations. The next-generation ID Federation Technology will allow service providers to link and manage IDs, while maintaining robust security.

Utilizing a "group signature scheme"1 that enables authentication of data generated in a certain privileged organization without disclosure of the underlying identity, this technology can conceal the conventionally disclosed organization name of the issuer of the certificate/credential from the service provider that uses the certificate. This means that the new technology can simultaneously validate credentials and protect user privacy. Group signature technology also enables investigation of the actual issuer of the certificate in the event of a problem. Furthermore, the newly-developed technology can enable easy expansion of systems using conventional ID federation platforms by simply replacing the digital signature scheme used in conventional technology with the group signature scheme.

In recent years, research and development has been actively carried out worldwide on how to link IDs generated on different systems. Currently, in order to use services that require confirmation of personal information, such as a user's age or qualifications, we need to acquire credentials/certificates from issuing organizations. Credentials can disclose privacy information of a third party as the name of the issuing organization of the credentials often includes privacy information. This is often the case in Europe, where the certificate/credentials are often composed of various countries and regions, and the location of the issuer may help locate the certified user. This has generated a need for an ID federation system, which would allow such information to remain private.

Group signature technology is now in the spotlight worldwide as the next generation authentication technology. NEC has also been developing authentication technologies based on group signature technologies that preserve privacy, and expects to be able to offer a total solution with maximum privacy protection through the new technology.

NEC believes the newly developed technology will realize an ID management infrastructure that can be employed by users worldwide without privacy concerns, and believes that it will become a fundamental technology for the next generation of ID federation that can reduce service provider ID management costs. NEC will continue to develop this technology toward standardization.

This technology has been developed in cooperation with NEC Laboratories Europe2, and will be exhibited at NEC's own independent exhibition, iExpo 2007, at Tokyo Big Sight from December 5 to 7.

About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is one of the world's leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of its diverse and global base of customers. NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. For additional information, please visit the NEC home page at:http://www.nec.com

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Notes

(1) Group signature:
technology to verify whether a signer belongs to a certain privileged group. The identity of the member who generates the signature is anonymous. However, privileged users can identify the signer, thereby preventing abuse of anonymity.
(2)
NEC Laboratories Europe was established in June 2007 by integrating NEC's existing Network Laboratory and C&C Laboratories in Germany. The laboratories drive research and development in technologies important in the European market, such as mobile Internet, next generation Internet, and parallel processing algorithms.

Press Contact

Diane Foley
NEC Corporation
d-foley@ax.jp.nec.com
+81-3-3798-6511



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