Digital Identity is at the Heart of Innovation City

Over a half a million people have visited Barcelona to participate in the GSMA’s flagship event: Mobile World Congress. This year, for the first time, the GSMA is holding a regional specific event focused on the Americas. From September 12th to the 14th, tens of thousands of attendees will descend on the Moscone Center in San Francisco to learn about cutting edge innovations and discuss solutions to the most vexing problems of the mobile network space.

One of the most popular attractions at the mothership event in Barcelona is Innovation City. Here the GSMA – and their key innovation partners – show how the “power of mobile” is transforming lives across the world. This year, the GSMA is putting on a mock urban environment to showcase what modern, mobile-centric identity solutions can provide. Digital identity is truly at the heart of what an innovative city could look like.

The GSMA’s Mobile Identity Initiative

In February of 2014, the GSMA launched “Mobile Connect” – a solution that enables end-users to create and manage a digital universal identity through a single log-in solution. Mobile Connect provides a federated framework through which 3rd party service providers can authenticate users, seek their authorization of transactions and access information about the user (with user consent). This service has been deployed to a significant portion of the world-wide mobile network operator marketplace and is commercially available to over 3 billion consumers globally.

Mobile Connect performs what Nok Nok Labs refers to as the “Second Mile” of authentication. Where the “first mile” of authentication is proving the identity of the person using the device, the so-called “Second Mile” is proving that that person should have access to that account with the specific privileges.

Nok Nok Labs and Mobile Connect

In 2016, Nok Nok Labs launched a “Jumpstart Program for Mobile Connect”, helping mobile network operators worldwide deliver a biometric-enabled, FIDO-Certified customer authentication experience via Mobile Connect.

FIDO-based authentication and Mobile Connect go hand-in-hand. The “first-mile” of the authentication is handled by Nok Nok Labs’ S3 Authentication Suite, leveraging the FIDO UAF protocol. This allows Mobile Connect to use the built-in biometric authenticators on smartphones, tablets, and PCs – increasing the range of authentication options beyond historic, potentially less-secure alternatives. A user – prompted by the Mobile Connect application – proves their identity to their devices with a biometric. This proof is then passed to the GSMA’s identity gateway where the second-mile of authentication happens leveraging an API exchange and the OpenID connect protocol to further identify and confirm the details of an individual user.

Further validating the synergies possible between the FIDO Protocol and Mobile Connect, earlier this year, the GSMA and the FIDO Alliance formalized a liaison partnership to further explore how FIDO Authentication and Mobile Connect fit together from both a technical and market perspective.

See Mobile Connect in Action

In just a few weeks, at the Innovation City in the heart of Mobile World Congress: Americas, Mobile Connect will be front and center. Nok Nok Labs is proud to be part of this demonstration arena, helping power demonstrations from Visa, InterBev and San Diego Health Connect. The Innovation City will be located in the South Hall of Moscone Center, stands S.1428 & S.1128. You can visit with a Nok Nok Labs representative there during Innovation City hours (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM), or you can stop by the Nok Nok Labs booth in the North Hall at stand N978 (we will be part of the FIDO Pavilion).