Microsoft tests identity technology in schools

Microsoft is testing some of its new identity-based security technology in Washington state schools, where students and teachers will be able to securely access grades and class schedules, CNET reports. The software company is working with the Lake Washington School District–a district of 50 schools and nearly 24,000 students in and around Microsoft’s home town of Redmond–to deploy its Geneva claims-based identity platform, said Scott Charney, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group, in a keynote address April 21 at the RSA 2009 security conference in San Francisco. Students and parents will bring identification information into the school to prove children’s identities, and the students will then get small notebook PCs with identity information cards on them to be used for accessing online education materials.
Microsoft announced the Geneva technology last week. Current mechanisms used to protect data by requiring people to prove they are authorized to access certain web sites are broken, Charney said. Web sites ask for personal information, like city of birth and mother’s maiden name, "but those secrets aren’t secret at all," he said. "We need a different model for thinking about identity."

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