To be or not to be in the next geration Internet, Tech Zeitung TILT

Published 31 Oct 2003 by Alberto Escudero Pascual

bulletDownload: escuderoa-unique-IID.pdf

This short article is written as a response to document Opinion 2/2002: on the use of unique identifiers in telecommunication terminal equipments: the example of IPv6. The document was released the 30 May 2002 by the European Union's Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, an independent advisory body on data protection and privacy set up under Article 29 of Directive 95/46/EC.


The global telecommunication infrastructure will slowly converge toward an integrated packet switched network using the Internet Protocol as the common communication technology. First evidence of this convergence is the deployment of the third generation wireless infrastructure that brings together the radio access network and core network by introducing the next generation Internet Protocol IPv6.

Although there have been many technical efforts to insure data confidentiality in the next generation Internet, it is still not known if the new IPv6 security and mobility features will actually be enough to empower users and protect their privacy or if in fact just the opposite will occur.

One open question still remains: will the deployment of the next generation Internet bring more security and privacy to the users or the opposite will occur? As an example, the article considers the controversial issue of the global unique identifiers in IPv6. After explaining the possible treat for privacy and the limitations of the suggested privacy extension of stateless address autoconfiguration (RFC3041), we also illustrate the new opportunities for privacy that IPv6 brings as the use of Cryptographically Generated IPv6 Address for identity management and pseudonymity.

Complex problems sometimes require no simple answers: When one door closes another door opens wide. New tools for new challenges.

Keyword(s): IPv6, Unique Identifiers, Data Protection, Policy