International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has announced the IBM Identity Mixer, a new technology that aims to make data more secure and hopefully reduce security threats to sensitive information.
The new International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) technology is a cryptographic algorithm which IBM research developed. Essentially, it allows services people to use to never even have access to personally identifiable information such as specific birthdays, addresses, email addresses or phone numbers.
Identity Mixer works by confirming to organizations or firms that you are who you claim to be without ever giving them information about who you are.
In the International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) example, we meet Alice who is identified as a 16-year-old film buff. She wants to sign up to an online movie streaming service but that service has a required age for subscribers.
Identity Mixer can verify for the streaming movie service that Alice is indeed above the age requirement for subscribers. If the service also has specific requirements for location for its subscribers, like Netflix has, the International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) technology can tell the service whether Alice indeed lives in an area where the company’s services are offered.
The beauty of this is even if the streaming service is hacked into, the attackers may get data but this data is essentially worthless. Since the streaming service is not storing the exact birthday and exact address of Alice, the hackers have gained nothing that could compromise Alice’s online identity and information.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) shareholders includes Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. The firm reported owning about 70.48 million IBM shares by the end of September, up 1% quarter-over-quarter. The stake was worth about $13.38 billion by the end of September and accounted for 12.41% of Berkshire Hathaway’s whole portfolio.