IIW2005: Paul Trevithick on Higgins Trust Framework


Identity is a three-body problem. When you use a credit card, there's pre-existing trust between the airline and the bank (brokered by Visa). You're the third party in that equation. Lots of groups that we belong to, lots of implementations. People want to manage relationships between extremely diverse contexts.

This is where the Higgins Trust Framework (HTF) comes in. The goal of the HTF is to address four challenges: the lack of common interfaces to identity/networking systems, the need for interoperability, the need to manage multiple contexts, and the need to respond to regulatory, public or customer pressure to implement solutions based on trusted infrastructure that offers security and privacy. A context includes identifying information, profile information, reputation information, and relationships.

The technical work consists of the following tasks:

  1. Create a framework/API an abstraction layer for identity and social networking services
  2. Create a set of exemplary context "provider" implementations (plug-ins)
  3. Create an exemplary app that demonstrates how to use the extensible framework
  4. Enable developers to leverage Higgins in their applications

This is all in Java and inside Eclipse. Higgins could provide an API for developers to incorporate identity and trust in applications. Context specific modules need to be built. The project is open-source.

I'll admit that at this point, I'm still wondering exactly what this is. A demo would be cool.