IBM launches cloud-based technology Identity Mixer to protect personal data


IBM has announced the launch of Identity Mixer, a cloud-based technology which aims to protect personal data by only revealing the bare minimum for transactions, on its BlueMix developer platform.

The release, which has not coincidentally been pegged for Data Privacy Day, uses a cryptographic algorithm to only reveal selected pieces of a user’s information, such as date of birth, home address, and credit card number, to third parties.

An example given of how this service works is through a video streaming service for age-restricted films. Instead of a user submitting full date of birth and address to assess whether they are old enough and in the right region to view the film, Identity Mixer will tell the streaming service only the fact that the user is old enough and in the right region.

The completed product has taken over a decade of research, and is available for developers to test in their own applications and web services. Developers can choose the type of data they wish to secure, and BlueMix will provide the code.

“Identity Mixer enables users to choose precisely which data to share, and with whom,” said Christina Peters, IBM chief privacy officer. “Now web service providers can improve their risk profile and enhance trust with customers, and it’s all in the cloud making it easy for developers to program.”

This innovation is hardly surprising, as IBM has won the most US patents for 21 years in a row, with the culture of the organisation deeply embedded in its staff. When this publication spoke to UK&I cloud leader Doug Clark back in March, he explained even he had a patent, despite being a “salesy” person. Despite this, IBM’s most recent financial results left analysts unconvinced, even though the company hit its target of $7bn in yearly cloud revenue.

Take a look at the video below which explains Identity Mixer in more detail:

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28 Jan 2015, 11:23 a.m.

Take IBM Identity Mixer for a test run and see easy it can be to rent a movie online without giving away any personal data