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Foundational Components of an Open Data Ecosystem

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

In this article, we will look at the definition of an Open Data Ecosystem and what are the critical components of such an ecosystem. We will discuss how Open ID connects and its extension enabling such an ecosystem. We will go into detail about these extensions in future articles.

The digital world around us has changed at a rapid pace, thanks to API frameworks. API framework unlocked the power of internal and external integration and brought many innovations to the market. Secure API frameworks enabled the evolution of ecosystems where participants can exchange data; one example is Open Banking. Open Banking brings the following benefits.

• Consistent way of accessing data across the whole industry.

• Secure data transfer

• Mandated user control (explicit consent)

• New features previously not possible

• more competitive market.

The elegance of a common framework and the user-consent-based control has led to rapid market adoption. Starting with the UK and PSD2 countries, followed by Australia, US, Brasil, New Zealand, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Bahrain, UAE, and Israel, and 10+ other countries are in review now.

In this article, we will look at the foundational components of an Open Data Ecosystem. Open Data Ecosystems are API-based access frameworks that expose a user’s data to trusted parties with the user’s consent.

Functional API specifications and data models provide a common understanding of the data moving between the Data Providers and Consumers.

Identity protocol defines how you transfer identity information from a Data Provider to a Data Consumer with End-User consent. Most ecosystems across the globe have adopted OpenID Connect 1.0.

Security profile defines how parties are authenticated, how the authorization and the data request and response are secured, and how message integrity is preserved. Most Open Banking / Open Finance / Open Data ecosystems have chosen OAuth-based FAPI/CIBA (client-initiated backchannel authentication) as their API security profile.FAPI-2 is with new constructs like PAR, and RAR provides additional standard building blocks for handling complex scenarios.

A trust management framework is required to establish a minimum trust level between participants. Participants use a trusted registry to define their roles and responsibilities.

It is considered a best practice for an Open Data ecosystem to unlock users’ data and, simultaneously, encourage data minimization, user control, and transparency.

In the coming articles, we will cover identity-related areas like FAPI, CIBA, PAR, and RAR, elaborating on the business need and challenges and how these constructs help solve such problems.

OkularID is a unique digital identity management platform to authenticate and validate user credentials in the digital space. It is promoted by Aikaki Limited, focused on developing a user-centric digital identity wallet enabling users to share their credentials and digital assets and securely sign documents.

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