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The project’s pilots were brought to a successful conclusion. As a result the project made big steps towards future exploitation.

The data minimisation principle states that (only) the data necessary for a given and predefined purpose may be processed. Privacy-preserving Attribute-based Credentials (Privacy-ABCs) permit to remove data from a certificate that are not necessary to make use of a certain service while retaining the integrity of the issuer’s signature for the remaining information.

ABC4Trust achieved its goal to prove that privacy-preserving tools can be implemented reasonably in different applications. At the same time a wide range of experience was gained concerning the actual technical realisation as well as the consulting and supporting of the users. Thereby, another important step on the way to marketable Privacy-ABCs was taken. Prof. Dr. Kai Rannenberg from Goethe University Frankfurt states, ”The respective authorities are happy with the pilots and the feedback. Active negotiations are underway to integrate the pilots into larger systems and regular use. So in the not so far future we expect more European public services and other organisations to switch to Privacy-ABCs."

School Pilot

Using public social networks currently available in the web is common practice at many schools. However, these social networks lack proper protection of the pupils’ and their guardians’ privacy. If e.g. the same username is employed in different settings, it is possible to link cross-context and as a consequence reveal the user’s identity.ABC4Trust’s School Pilot provides a privacy-preserving school network for information exchange. Pupils and their parents are enabled to communicate securely with each other and/or teachers and other school staff within verified areas while retaining their anonymity to the extent possible or acting under pseudonyms which they can choose anew any time. “By utilizing the Privacy-ABC technologies, all users remain in full control of what level of personal information they disclosed to whomever, whenever,” explains Souheil Bcheri from Eurodocs AB, who set up and maintained the system.

After about one year of test operation at Norrtullskolan in Söderhamn/Sweden the results are promising. The technology as a whole as well as the Privacy-ABCs features work and the efficiency of the system is brought to a satisfying level. Overall a good feedback from the users concerning the feasibility was provided. “The results of the survey conducted following the conclusion of the pilot demonstrated that the pupils understood the system’s privacy protecting features when they performed various activities such as anonymous chatting with peers, parents and teachers. Perhaps the most significant survey results were the pupils’ acknowledgement that they trusted the Privacy-ABC technologies and would be willing to use the system if it were to continue operating,” says Souheil Bcheri. This indicates that there is a demand for services that employ Privacy-ABCs.

University Pilot

The University Pilot allows students to evaluate their courses anonymously. At the same time, the system guarantees that only students that are duly accredited and visited a minimum number of lectures can participate in the evaluation. Therefore, an NFC (contactless) reader has been placed in the lecture room. The students ‘check in’ as they pass, using their smart cards. Besides the evaluation function, the students could also choose to participate in a tombola. Therefore, an additional – inspectable – ‘tombola credential’ was issued with the purpose to reveal the winner’s identity. Thereby, the optional feature ‘inspection’ was tried in practice. Inspection enables the revelation of the user’s identity under strictly predefined conditions about which the user has to be informed in advance.

According to the results of an anonymous questionnaire, the students feel that Privacy-ABCs can help them to manage their e-identities and enable them to use internet services in a privacy preserving way. The systems’ responsiveness and overall speed was considered as good. “The students who participated in the Patras pilot confirmed our belief in the effectiveness and usability of Privacy-ABCs. The students are convinced that their privacy is preserved while interacting with the pilot system. They also feel that the Privacy-ABCs technology could greatly contribute to the protection of their personal data in many other online services such as social media, blogs and e-shopping,” concludes Prof. Dr. Yannis Stamatiou from the Computer Technology Institute and Press (CTI), the lead of the pilot project in Patras.

Future Exploitation

Since life without internet has become practically unimaginable to most people and especially to young people, it is necessary to also have a close eye on the threats that go along with the indisputable advantages of the technical progress. Especially children have to be enabled to use the internet, but at the same time need to be sufficiently protected and empowered to avoid online risks. This need was also stressed by Ms. Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, at the ‘EU Cybersecurity Strategy – High Level Conference held in Brussels’ on 28th February 2014. As one of the invited projects ABC4Trust took the opportunity to demonstrate its pilot projects to a distinguished audience. To foster the publicity and implementation of Privacy-ABCs, ABC4Trust has constantly been presenting its results at expert conferences. Service providers need to rethink the way they give access and identify their customers, while the users need to be informed about which personal information they are disclosing.

Communication and evaluation systems using Privacy-ABC technologies have the potential to become standard, e.g. for school internal networks. The data referring to a pupil’s school life (from performance to personal matters) surely need protection. Furthermore, schools have to react to the ongoing digitalisation, e.g. by introducing ‘Internet competence’ into the curriculum. Implementing Privacy-ABCs into school networks could be part of this. A network that applies Privacy-ABCs could e.g. provide counselling sessions with predefined counsellors. Pupils seeking advice benefit from this low-threshold offer, since knowing that they are anonymous may make it easier to take the first step towards help. Also, school internal trouble may be revealed earlier, since the pupils are enabled to bring up a topic anonymously, i.e. without being ‘the troublemaker’. But of course also ‘basic functions’ like chat rooms and document sharing benefit from unlinkability.

Summit Event

ABC4Trust invites interested parties to join its Summit Event on 20th January 2015, at the Hessian State Representation at the European Union, 21 rue Montoyer, in Brussels (Belgium). Beyond detailed information about the pilots, we will present additional project results. While the trials were using smart cards, ABC4Trust meanwhile made Privacy-ABCs available on mobile devices, too. Furthermore, other thinkable use cases were examined, e.g. in combination with the employment of electronic identification cards (eID) or setting up a system that allows anonymous participation in online polls (such as petitions).

For more information about the Summit Event please visit

Svenske skoleelever tester danskudviklet NemID-afløser
(Press release by the ABC4Trust partner Alexandra Institute, Aarhus, Danmark, 20th January 2014)

Skoleelever bruger hver uge mange timer på forskellige steder på nettet. Mange tjenester kræver at man oplyser brugernavn og password. Men som beskyttelsen er i dag, er der stor risiko for at identitetsoplysningerne bliver misbrugt eller falder i forkerte hænder

Lige nu arbejder et stort EU-projekt på at udvikle en standard, der beskytter brugerens personlige identitetsoplysninger. Danske forskere fra Alexandra Instituttet har udviklet en løsning, der fungerer ved hjælp af et Id-kort, der er forbundet til en computer, og som i øjeblikket bliver testet af ca. 300 svenske skoleelever på Norrtullskolan, der ligger nord for Stockholm.
Skoleeleverne bruger det til et pædagogisk forum som både elever, lærere og forældre har adgang til. Her kan eleverne gå ind og snakke sammen. Det giver mulighed for at være anonym samtidig med at eleverne er logget ind, forklarer projektleder Göran Hånell fra Norrtullsskolan.

- Det giver også mulighed for at udveksle følsomme dokumenter med en elev. Det kan være alt fra dokumentation for fremmøde eller hvis man skal være sikker på, at det rent faktisk er en værge til en bestemt elev, som jeg som lærer er i kontakt med, siger Göran Hånell til

Giver frit løb for personlig mening
Projektet kører fra 2012 til 2015 og udover Norrtullsskolan så medvirker bl.a. IBM og Microsoft, forklarer senior forsknings- og innovationsspecialist Janus Dam Nielsen fra Alexandra Instituttets Security Lab, der har været med til at udvikle it-løsningen.

It-løsningen bliver også testet af studerende på det græske universitet i Patras. Her kan de studerende gå ind og evaluere kurserne.
- De kan bruge det i diskussioner og snakke om nogle ting, som de måske ikke ville snakke om på samme måde, som hvis de sad i klasselokalet, fordi de kan være anonyme. Samtidig kan de sørge for, at det kun er de studerende, der har fulgt undervisningen, som evaluerer den, siger han.
- På Norrtullsskolan bruger man det også hos sundhedsplejersken. Her kan eleverne gå ind og stille spørgsmål af mere privat karakter. På den måde skulle man gerne kunne nedbryde nogle barriere, forklarer han.

Fungerer som et skrabelod

Ifølge Janus Dam Nielsen kan teknologien være afløseren for mange af de scenarier, hvor man i dag bruger CPR. nummer eller NemId, fordi det giver mulighed for at vise de oplysninger, som du har brug for i situationen.
Man skal forestille sig et kørekort, hvor der ikke står noget, men hvor alt kan skrabes som et skrabelod.
- Nede i butikken kan du skrabe din alder ud, så du kan dokumentere at du er gammel nok til at købe alkohol. Og overfor politiet kan du vise, at det her rent faktisk er et gyldigt kørekort, som er udstedt til dig uden at du behøver at skrabe alle dine private oplysninger ud, siger han.

Matematisk bevis

Hele humlen er, at du har en hemmelig nøgle, som ligger på dit id-kort. Men den kunne også ligge på din telefon, computer eller centralt, som NemID gør.

- Pointen er, at hvis du har en nøgle, så kan du lave et matematisk bevis, der siger: ja, jeg har den egenskab, og så kan du give mig det
matematiske bevis og så kan jeg tjekke det uden at jeg fx ser din fødselsdato. Jeg kan bare se, at du er et vist antal år, siger Janus Dam Nielsen.

Ifølge Janus Dam Nielsen er problemet i dag, at du giver mere information end nødvendig, når du skal kontrollere folks alder, fordi man bruger CPR. nummeret.
- Hvis du fx på et datingsite eller andre brugerfora gerne vil verificere en persons alder så kommer du til at give al for meget information. Men det kan du undgå med den her teknologi, siger han.
Fakta om projektet:
Forskere fra Alexandra Instituttet har lavet en ny identitetsstandard, hvor det er brugeren selv, der bestemmer, hvilke oplysninger han eller hun giver. Det kan være afløseren for mange af de scenarier, hvor man i dag bruger CPR. nummeret.

Projektet kører over fire år og hedder ABC4Trust. De bliver i øjeblikket testet på Norrtullsskolan i Sverige og det græske universitet i Patras.

Online services can use the code to protect customer’s data and reduce exposure to liabilities in case of personal data breaches

“Privacy is an integral part of human dignity and personal freedom”, as Vice-President of the European Commission Viviane Reding stressed at a speech regarding the proposal for a Data Protection Regulation. Personal data breaches cause major liability risks and loss of reputation for businesses and may impact the life of the compromised person in a long term. Protection of personal data is served best by taking data protection aspects into account right from the planning phase. The draft for a General Data Protection Regulation demands privacy by design and privacy by default when developing new processes. This is taken into account by the EU-funded project “Attribute-based Credentials for Trust” (ABC4Trust) that is piloting cryptographic solutions to authenticate persons in a privacy-preserving way with selective disclosure of attributes in authentication processes.

Appropriate privacy-enhancing technologies (PET) as developed in the ABC4Trust project allow secure authentication while only revealing the data essential for the requested service and no longer require verifying every detail of a user’s identity. Reducing data in this early state may aid businesses to comply with these principles by avoiding unnecessary data processing, and citizens gain more privacy. To assist online services in implementing such technologies, the ABC4Trust project has published the source code of the first version of its solution.

Electronic identity solutions are based on attributes about a person with the respective attribute value like the person’s name or date of birth. Classic electronic identification does not allow presentation of selected attributes without invalidating the issuer’s signature and thus risking a rejection. Advanced and privacy-preserving solutions support selective disclosure of attributes: the service provider can only learn those pieces of information that are necessary for the given purpose while the signature verifying the correctness of the information remains intact. The privacy-enhancing attribute-based credentials (Privacy-ABCs) deployed in the ABC4Trust project’s pilots support the above-mentioned attribute selection.

The use of Privacy-ABCs has now become accessible for a broader audience, as the ABC4Trust project has released the first iteration of the Attribute-based Credential Engine (ABCE) implementation. The ABCE allows owners and implementers of online services to leverage the potential of Privacy-ABCs to protect customer’s data and reduce exposure to liabilities in case of personal data breaches.

The first iteration of the ABCE consists of a number of core components and a user interface needed to implement a Privacy-ABC system. The release includes source code and documentation on how to setup and integrate the ABCE and can be found on the ABC4Trust website: The components deal with issuing, verifying, inspecting, and revoking privacy-preserving attribute-based credentials, as well as handling the required user interaction. ABC4Trust has developed two applications that are currently deployed and being used by users in two pilot trials; one in Söderhamn, Sweden and the other in Patras, Greece.

Building on the basic components fully functioning support for Privacy-ABCs can be implemented in a given system. The ABCE is provided with adapters for storing keys on smart cards and a very generic user interface. Additional customization will be required regarding the storage of keys and credentials along with the user interaction.

All parts of the ABCE are released under the Apache License 2.0 license. However, the cryptographic engines underlying the ABCE are not currently a part of the ABCE, and must be downloaded separately. The cryptographic engines are IBM Identity Mixer (Version 2.4 or later) and Microsoft U-Prove. The U-Prove binary can be downloaded from The IBM Identity Mixer can be downloaded from


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  • Bevarande av individens personliga integritet inom ramen för skolgemenskapens portal och integritetsskydd för utvärdering av universitetskurser på elektronisk väg.
  • Patras universitet i Grekland och Norrtullskolan (grundskola) i Söderhamn, Sverige, har valts som platser för dessa pilotprojekt.
  • Konsortiet samordnas av Goethe universitet i Frankfurt, och för samman ledande företag, europeiska universitet och andra partners som använder teknik för skydd och hantering av individens personliga integritet och identitet i praktiken.

Söderhamn den 28 januari 2011: Idag, på den internationella Integritetsskyddsdagen (Data Privacy Day), meddelades genomförandet av ett större forskningsinitiativ som utgörs av pilotprojekt med kryptografiska tekniker som gör det möjligt för befolkningen att bättre skydda sin personliga integritet och sina identiteter. Projektet, som kallas ABC4Trust, använder integritetsskyddande teknik som kommer att studeras inom ramen för pilotprojekt vid ett universitet i Grekland och en grundskola i Sverige.

  • Mantener la privacidad en el portal comunitario de una escuela secundaria y proteger la privacidad en el sistema de evaluación de cursos de una Universidad.
  • La Universidad de Patras (Grecia) y la escuela secundaria Norrtullskolan (Söderhamn, Suecia), son los sitios elegidos para llevar a cabo el piloto.
  • El Consorcio está coordinado por la Universidad Goethe (Frankfurt, Alemania) y agrupa a empresas líderes en su ámbito, universidades Europeas y otros socios para desplegar en la práctica una tecnología de privacidad y gestión de identidades.

Frankfurt, Enero 28, 2011 – Hoy, en el Dia de la Privacidad de Datos, ha sido anunciada una gran iniciativa de investigación para llevar a cabo un piloto de tecnologías criptográficas que permitan a los ciudadanos proteger mejor su privacidad e identidades. El proyecto, llamado ABC4TRUST, utiliza una tecnología de privacidad que será evaluada en un piloto con una Universidad de Grecia y una escuela secundaria de Suiza.

  • Ο στóχος είναι η προστασία της ιδιωτικóτητας σε δικτυακó τóπο σχολικής κοινóτητας και σε πλατφóρμα διενέργειας αξιολογήσεων μαθημάτων σε πανεπιστήμιο
  • Οι Πιλοτικές εφαρμογές των αποτελεσμάτων της κοινοπραξίας θα γίνουν στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Πάτρας στην Ελλάδα και στο σχολείο της δευτεροβάθμιας εκπαίδευσης Norrtullskolan στο Söderhamn της Σουηδίας
  • Η κοινοπραξία συντονίζεται απó το Goethe University Frankfurt και φέρνει κοντά κορυφαίες εταιρίες, Ευρωπαϊκά πανεπιστήμια, και άλλους εταίρους οι οποίοι θα υλοποιήσουν, στην πράξη, τεχνολογίες διαχείρισης της ιδιωτικóτητας και της ταυτóτητας του ατóμου

Φρανκφούρτη/Πάτρα, 28 Ιανουαρίου, 2011 – Σήμερα, στην ημερίδα με θέμα «Ιδιωτικóτητα Δεδομένων» (“Data Privacy”), ανακοινώθηκε μία σημαντική ερευνητική πρωτοβουλία που θα θέσει σε πιλοτική εφαρμογή τεχνολογίες κρυπτογραφίας που επιτρέπουν στους πολίτες να προστατεύουν καλύτερα την ιδιωτικóτητα και την ταυτóτητά τους. Το έργο, που ονομάζεται ABC4Trust, χρησιμοποιεί τεχνολογίες που μπορούν να προστατέψουν την ιδιωτικóτητα του ατóμου και οι οποίες θα τεθούν σε πιλοτική εφαρμογή σε ένα πανεπιστήμιο στην Ελλάδα και σε ένα σχολείο της δευτεροβάθμιας εκπαίδευσης στην Σουηδία.

  • Ziel: Wahrung der Privatsphäre bei einem schulinternen Kommunikationsportal und im Rahmen der Evaluation der Lehre an Universitäten
  • Für die Pilottests wurden die Norrtull-Sekundarschule in Söderhamn, Schweden, und die Patras-Universität in Griechenland ausgewählt.
  • Unter der Leitung der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt bringt das Konsortium führende Unternehmen, europäische Universitäten und andere Partner aus Forschung und Verwaltung zusammen, um Lösungen für Datenschutz und Identitätsmanagement praktisch umzusetzen.

Frankfurt 28. Januar 2011 – Anlässlich des heutigen Europäischen Datenschutztages wurde eine europäische Forschungsinitiative angekündigt, um innovative Verschlüsselungstechnik zu erproben, mit denen Bürger künftig ihre Privatsphäre und Identitäten besser schützen können. Das Projekt „Attribute Based Credentials for Trust (ABC4Trust)“ legt seinen Schwerpunkt auf datenschutzfördernde Techniken und wird diese in Pilotversuchen mit Schülerinnen und Schülern einer schwedischen Schule und Studierenden der Patras-Universität in Griechenland anwenden.

  • Protection de la vie privée et des données à caractère personnel sur le portail communautaire d’un lycée et lors de l’évaluation en ligne des cours universitaires par les étudiants
  • L’université de Patras en Grèce et le lycée Norrtullskolan de Söderhamn en Suède sélectionnés comme sites d’expérimentation
  • Le consortium est coordonné par l’Université Goethe de Francfort; il rassemble des entreprises high-tech de premier plan, des universités européennes et d’autres partenaires pour déployer une technologie de gestion de l’identité et de la vie privée numérique

Francfort, ALLEMAGNE, 28 Janvier 2011 – En cette journée européenne de la protection de la vie privée et des données personnelles (« European Privacy & Data Protection Day »), un consortium académique et industriel de recherche de premier plan annonce l’expérimentation d’une technologie de cryptographie permettant aux citoyens européens d’améliorer la protection de leurs identités numériques et la gestion de leurs données personnelles. Le projet ABC4Trust met en oeuvre une technologie de préservation de la vie privée qui sera expérimentée dans une université en Grèce et un lycée Suédois.

  • Privacy waarborgen in een schoolgemeenschap portaalwebsite en privacy-beschermende elektronische cursusevaluatie aan universiteit
  • Patras Universiteit in Griekenland en Norrtullskolan secundaire school in Söderhamn, Zweden, zijn geselecteerd als pilootsites.
  • Consortium wordt gecoördineerd door Goethe Universiteit Frankfurt; brengt toonaangevende bedrijven, Europese universiteiten en andere partners tesamen om privacy- en identiteitsbeheertechnologie in de praktijk uit te bouwen

Frankfurt 28 januari, 2011 – Vandaag, op de Dag van de Privacy, werd een belangrijk onderzoeksinitiatief aangekondigd dat pilootprojecten opzet rond cryptografische technologieën om burgers in staat te stellen hun privacy en identiteit beter te beheren. Het project, ABC4Trust genaamd, gebruikt privacy-verbeterende technologie die zal gedemonstreerd worden in pilootprojekten aan een Griekse universiteit en een Zweedse secundaire school.

  • Privacy-fremmende løsninger til skoleportaler og til elektronisk evaluering af universitetskurser.
  • Universitetet i Patras, Grækenland, og Norrtullskolen gymnasium i Söderhamn, Sverige, er udvalgt som forsøgssteder.

Frankfurt, 28. januar, 2011

I dag, på Data Privacy Day, annonceres et større forskningsinitiativ, der skal bane vejen for kryptografiske teknologier, der skal sikre bedre beskyttelse af borgernes privatliv og personlige oplysninger. Projektet hedder ABC4Trust og er baseret på privacy-fremmende teknologier, som skal testes på et universitet i Grækenland og et gymnasium i Sverige.

Press Resources

This section contains resources for the press and persons that intend to publish about the ABC4Trust project.

To keep you updated, we have a RSS Feed Logo RSS Feed containing ABC4Trust Press Releases.

  • Objective: Preserving privacy in school community portal and privacy protecting electronic university course evaluation
  • Patras University in Greece and Norrtullskolan secondary school in Söderhamn, Sweden, are selected as pilot sites.
  • Consortium is coordinated by Goethe University Frankfurt; brings together leading companies, European universities, and other partners to deploy in practice privacy and identity management technology

Frankfurt, GERMANY, January 28, 2011 – Today, on Data Privacy Day, a major research initiative was announced to pilot cryptographic technologies that enable European citizens to better protect their privacy and identities. The project, called ABC4Trust, uses privacy-enabling technology that will be piloted at a university in Greece and a secondary school in Sweden.