A Day in the Logins for Life

Members of the project team met yesterday in the Templeman Library Hub to spend the whole day revising the work packages. This turned out to be a very useful exercise and left us all feeling ‘revitalised’.  We listed the milestones and firmed up our plans and schedule for the management of the Logins for Life project.

The discussions were wide ranging and although we didn’t have all the answers – yet – we did feel we at least knew what most of the questions were.

Logins for Life is exploring not only how HE organisations can maintain and manage a life long relationship, through a digital identity, with those who come in to contact with the organisation.  It is also about how access to on-line resources can be facilitated and simplified through the use of existing technologies such as social networking and account linking services. Obviously this raises many concerns including, but not limited to, safeguarding data, protecting privacy, security of systems and deciding on and implementing appropriate levels of assurance for different classes of user.  These are complex issues.

Logins for Life will engage with many stakeholders to help determine how to tackle these complex issues.

We compiled a list of departments, offices, facilities, partners etc and from there a list of known systems within the University and tried to rank them in order of how much Logins for Life could potentially affect them.   This led on to who we would need to talk to about each system and were there others out there that we had missed?

We  looked at what we hoped to gain from interviewing different classes of stakeholder and from there made a start on the questions we would ask. Although there will be some questions relevant to all interviewees there will also be questions specific to users and others specific to system owners. But which should come first ?- questions to the users or questions to the system owners as the former may feed in to the latter – or vice-versa.  We agreed that seeking help from the experts in the field, with framing the final questions would be a very good idea.

From these interviews we will develop use cases.

We listed existing authorisation technologies which would need to be evaluated eg OpenID, OAuth, MS Cardspace.

We talked about what a life long email facility would need to offer if users were going to continue to use it beyond their time as a student at Kent.

There were some big issues up for discussion too

  • do the users actually want what Logins for Life is offering?
  • what if the users want something that goes beyond what  system managers have hitherto been willing to offer?
  • how do we deal with users with multiple concurrent identities eg a student who is also on the staff

A good and productive day with an excellent view across East Kent from the Hub’s windows on a sunny but slightly hazy day   –  and doughnuts too!

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Leo Lyons

I am an analyst currently employed by the University of Kent to research and draw up recommendations in connection with the JISC funded Logins for Life project. The project is looking at ways of extending Kent's online relationship with its users beyond just the time they might spend with us as students and staff. The project is also investigating ways to link exisiting digitial identities with Kent IT accounts.

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