NEC, Microsoft, France Telecom partner in smartphone ID project

Telecom Lead Asia: NEC has announced the commencement of
joint research on anonymous authentication technologies to provide enhanced
privacy services for smartphones.


The company is working with eight partners, including
Microsoft and France Telecom’s Orange Labs, to develop enhanced privacy
technology for smartphones.

The companies are working with a purpose to develop cryptography-based,
anonymous authentication technologies, which enable service providers to
control access to services, while also protecting the anonymity of subscribers
and terminals.


However, this technology requires a large amount of
computation power, comparable to a personal computer, which is a challenge for
implementing on smartphones, where computing power and battery time are more


NEC along with its partner companies tend to address
these issues through this project. The work is being funded by France’s Agence
Nationale de la Recherche. Other participants include Atos Worldline and
Oberthur Technologies.


“NEC’s advanced research on anonymous authentication
technology predates its membership to the consortium, where it is the only
Asia-based company contributing to these privacy protection efforts. We will
continue to support research on technologies that protect privacy and security
in order to offer a wide range of reliable products and services,” said Kazue
Sako, research fellow, Central Research Laboratories, NEC.


In recent years, the growth of smartphones has been
supported by a boom in location and commerce services. However, in line with
this, the risk of violating user privacy is also growing as these services
verify users and terminals with IDs that can be used to track user access and
behavioral history.


Recently, NEC Corporation inked a definitive agreement to acquire Convergys Corporation’s
Information Management (IM) business, which delivers Business Support Systems
(BSS) solutions to communications service providers around the world.


The transaction is valued at $449 million and covers all
of IM’s business, including Smart Suite Products, across different verticals
including communications, utilities and logistics.


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