Federated Identities & Social Media platforms

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Federated Identities & Social Media platforms
status: finished
Master: project within::Information Sciences
Student name: student name::I. Ait Mouhou
Start start date:=2011/02/01
End end date:=2011/06/30
Supervisor: C.J. van aart
Company: has company::T-Mobile Netherlands
Thesis: has thesis::Media:Thesis.pdf
Poster: has poster::Media:Media:Posternaam.pdf

Signature supervisor



--Iau300 16:18, 18 February 2011 (UTC) See problem statement.


The utilization of Social Media is part of the business strategy of many companies nowadays for reaching new customers or noncustomers to share information or to offer product/services via Social Media platforms. Social Media includes social networking (Facebook, MySpace), blogging, (Blogger, TypePad), micro blogging (Twitter) and business (LinkedIn). While this technology represents new opportunities, it also presents new risks regarding confidential customer information (e.g. name, address, age), further ‘customer attributes’.

The purpose of this study is to examine the exchange of customer attributes between Identity Providers (IdP’s) and Social Media platforms. The main focus points within this research are the security and privacy aspects.

Problem statement

The integration with 3rd parties is a continuous effort to deliver services and new products to customers and noncustomers, as connections with new Social Media platforms need to be established. In most cases the integration solution is some sort of exchange of customer attributes between IdP’s and 3rd parties (Social Media platforms). Independent of the solution, an IdP will remain accountable for the safety of the data. The solution must also be compliant with internal security and privacy legislations. These integrations are called a federation between IdP’s and Service Providers (SP’s) and give the ability to securely recognize user identities owned by an IdP. By federation we mean a trusted relationship between organizations.

However, IdP’s do not have a central process and standard way of working to control incoming and outgoing customer attributes. If the number of interfaces starts to grow, the situation is not acceptable anymore. Therefore, it is necessary to look for a technical solution and associated processes to control the integrations with 3rd parties such as Facebook and Twitter, and eventually create a controlled Federation Information Management (FIM) system. By federation we mean a group of organizations or service providers which have built trust among each other and enable sharing of customer attributes amongst themselves.

More information about Federated Identity:[1]