InAcademia for Identity Federations

InAcademia is a Service Provider in eduGAIN registered by SWAMID.  InAcademia acts as a proxy service to would-be service providers that need only validate the academic affiliation of a user. InAcademia’s target audience is primarily commercially oriented services that 1) generate income specifically from affiliation validate for student discounts, and 2) that only need the affiliation values (rather than full sets of attribute values that can otherwise be accessed via eduGAIN. 

InAcademia has a number of benefits to Identity Federations:

Offering InAcademia via your Federation offers a lighter weight option for SPs, therefore, potential SPs can be offered an entry-level, low-maintenance alternative to joining the federation, increasing the number of services available to IdPs as a result.

InAcademia responds to a merchant request for validation with pseudonymised identifiers, and strips out any superfluous PII returned by the IdP before returning an id_token to the client, meaning that it’s a truly privacy preserving route to using academic federated identities.

InAcademia can provide operational data to your federation operations that help to identify misconfigured and badly performing IdPs, giving you an ‘outside-in’ perspective that is often difficult to see, particularly in the case of Mesh Federations.

The proxy relationship also means that Federation Operators and IdP Operators can be certain that the attributes are only used in active compliance with  the GEANT Code of Conduct, and that only minimal data is made accessible to commercial services. In contrast, access via federation membership risks allowing service providers access to more attributes than they should justifiably request.

As commercial SPs often don’t understand federated identity, Federations spend a disproportionate amount of time to onboard them; referring them to InAcademia will save effort and cost for your Federation.

InAcademia reduces the effort of onboarding and supporting services to national federations. It’s only necessary to onboard InAcademia once in order for your IdPs and constituent users to be able to benefit from InAcademia’s downstream services.

InAcademia is a service created by Identity Federation operators under the GEANT Project. You can have a say, and can actively be involved in influencing the InAcademia future direction and roadmap. We encourage you to express your interest using the contact form or via the eduGAIN or GEANT Project communication channels.

There is no fee for NRENs to use the InAcademia service. Merchants are charged a fee to use InAcademia, and the intention is that any revenue will be used to help to sustain delivery of InAcademia service and Trust and Identity services in the future.

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