While identity management systems for the Internet are debated intensively, identity management in mobile applications has grown silently over the last 17 years. Technologies, such as the still-growing Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) with its Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) identification infrastructure, are foundations for many new mobile identity management related applications and services. This includes location-based services (LBS), offering customised and convenient services to users (e.g., friend finder applications) and new revenue opportunities for service providers (e.g., location-based advertising).
However, even though the opportunities seem to be endless and technology manageable, challenges arise when looking at advanced aspects of mobility and identity such as privacy, regulation, the socio-cultural aspects, and the economic impacts. To this regard, the interdisciplinary nature of mobility and identity is imminent and needs to be explored further. By learning from the diverse field of challenges, new mobile communication systems can be created, allowing for more privacy-preserving service provision and a more transparent handling of mobile identities.
This chapter presents three scenarios for mobile identities in life, work, and emergency situations: Mobile Communities, Traffic Monitoring, and Emergency Response via LBS. Based on these scenarios is an analysis of the specific properties of Mobile Identities, leading to a description of the FIDIS perspective on mobility and identity. Then a deeper analysis of the technological aspects of mobile networks gives the basis for the following closer look from the legal perspective on issues such as data protection and from the sociologic and economic perspectives. An outlook on the future challenges of mobility and identity concludes the chapter.
Over the last 20 years and to a large degree due to the mainstream usage of mobile communications (e.g., based on GSM networks),
Mobility and Identity
engaged in a special relation — precisely two special relations. On the one side, GSM technology, especially mobile devices, such as mobile phones and SIM cards, allowed the management of identity, which is now often termed mobile identity management. On the other side the properties of mobile communication networks and especially the administration of location and other context information with regard to mobile devices and the related users have added to the content of identity, which is reflected in the concept of ‘Mobile Identities’. Both aspects are illustrated in the first sections of this chapter. The following sections present different disciplines' perspectives on Mobility and Identity. These disciplines are technology, the law, sociology, and economics, as they contributed most actively on this topic in FIDIS. The chapter is concluded by a collection of requirements on mobile identity management systems and an outlook with further challenges and questions.