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New digital consent initiative to give users greater control of personal data

As more and more of our data gets stored in digital format, keeping it secure becomes a bigger challenge. One possible solution is User Managed Access (UMA) which gives a web user a unified control point for authorising who and what can get access to their online personal data.

The UMA standard has already received support from major organisations such as Philips and the New Zealand government. Access management company ForgeRock along with a number of open-source technology companies and experts, is announcing a new digital consent and privacy initiative to help accelerate developer adoption of UMA.

Using UMA, individuals are able to grant access to digital records on a need-to-know basis and for only an appropriate length of time. For example, instead of making copies of a child's healthcare records at the beginning of the school year and walking it into the school office, a parent could give temporary access to the online record then revoke it later. This would eliminate the need to duplicate personal records while maintaining privacy. In a similar fashion, financial records can be shared with authorised tax accountants and loan officers, and healthcare records can be shared with medical specialists.

Eve Maler, ForgeRock's vice president of innovation and emerging technology, says, "As organisations collect more and more user information in order to deliver more personalised experiences to consumers, failing to offer those consumers a way to actually manage that personal information themselves is a privacy time-bomb. As a leader in the adoption of open identity standards, ForgeRock believes UMA is the right solution to apply before the problem explodes".

You can find out more about UMA and the OpenUMA community dedicated to improving it on the ForgeRock website.

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