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UMA Personal Clouds and the X Internet

A distributed computing evolution of the Cloud

A popular spot where the Cloud and Identity domains intersect is the idea of “Personal Clouds”, which would be ideal services to build via a concept of the `X Internet`.

With open standards like SAML providing the building blocks of interconnecting identity systems between applications, then those applications will be better enabled to exchange this personal data.

This will power a revolution in online e-business models – for example your grocery provider could sell you online loans and mortgages, underwritten by your bank providing them your salary details via an online web service query.

The key factors are of course Privacy but more specifically Consent. Technically it`s not difficult for the banks to provide out data like this, they`ve been doing it for decades to ATM machines et al.

In this scenario the challenge is the wild west of the Internet but where it can be tamed to some degree through the adoption of shared authentication systems, and then shared consent flows too, like agreeing to allow your bank data to flow..

An open initiative focused on this level of information design includes the UMA group at Kantara, which is defining these types of exchange mechanisms.

As described here in this UMA use case, a scenario of Personal Clouds is based on the abstraction of a federated identity system of ‘Relying Parties’ and other actors, to a level where they are owned and operated by the individual.

In short your cell phone could be your ‘Identity Provider’ (IdP) and respond to data requests about you, fuelling a general explosion of the Internet and apps across an ever-expanding universe of smart phones, laptops, TVs and more.

This represents a distributed computing evolution of the Cloud, with data and privacy equally abstracted - Aka, the “Internet of Things” or from another perspective the X Internet.

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