Project description:

The STEREO project, funded by the the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), focuses on the topic of self-sovereign identities. It aims at creating and linking secure digital identities of things and people using the example of vehicles and their owners and users. Vehicle owners can identify themselves digitally via their smartphone or tablet. They use an ID solution of their choice and – with the resulting digital right of disposal over the vehicle – pass through the entrance gate to it. The vehicle’s digital identity then serves as the basis for a variety of usage scenarios in the mobility world of the near future.

The core objective of STEREO is a practical approach to the demonstration of secure digital identities on the basis of use cases implemented by the participating consortium partners. IT services based on blockchain technology represent the basis for more efficient mobility in the selected application scenarios from vehicle registration to daily vehicle use. STEREO establishes the simple and seamless usability of digital identities and thus creates the basis for a broad acceptance across different applications. The combination of digital identities of natural persons, legal entities and vehicles enables a variety of simplifications and automations. STEREO thus addresses the area of conflict between process digitization and data and legal security.


BRL Working Paper No. 17

A bibliometric review of research on digital identity

Abstract: In recent years, potentially disruptive identity-related topics emerged, such as digital twin technology for product lifecycle management or self-sovereign identity (SSI) for sovereign data control. In this study, we identify research streams and emerging trends in academic research on digital identity through a bibliometric analysis of 1,395 peer-reviewed articles and their 44,412 references. We derive seven distinct research streams and their interrelations by means of co-citation analysis. We name the seven research streams: i) Digital twin technology for smart manufacturing and industrial health monitoring, ii) identity-based signcryption schemes, iii) distributed networks and user privacy, iv) user authentication in wireless sensor networks, v) attribute-based encryption schemes, vi) secure data exchange in the Internet of Things and vii) blockchain and smart contracts for secure data management. Each stream’s high-impact publications and its development over time are reviewed and the interrelation between publications and streams are visualized. In addition, we extract directions for future research from the field’s most influential publications. The results offer a comprehensive and systematic overview of publications and discourses in digital identity research.

Keywords: Digital Twin; Internet of Things; Industry 4.0; Blockchain; Smart Manufacturing; Identity Management

Publication status: Working paper

Suggested citation: Ante, L., Fischer, C. & Strehle, E. (2021). A bibliometric review of research on digital identity. BRL Working Paper No. 17.


Manufacturing Letters

Digital Twin technology for smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0: A bibliometric analysis of the intellectual structure of the research discourse

AbstractThe Digital Twin (DT) concept is gaining increasing attention with the rapid growth of cyber-physical systems and smart manufacturing. DT comprises the digital reflection, replica or identity of physical systems, objects or assets, which, for example, can be used for industrial health monitoring or process optimization and tracking. This study provides an overview of the intellectual discourses of DT research. The 23,419 references of 647 publications on the topic of DT are empirically analyzed using bibliometric methods to identify underlying connections and research streams. Using explorative factor analysis, seven strands of research are objectively identified. These comprise i) DT as paradigm for the virtual representation of real systems, ii) DT for manufacturing processes and human-robot collaboration, iii) cyber-physical systems for coordination between physical and computational elements, iv) Industry 4.0 for the automation of manufacturing and industrial practice, v) relationship extraction and matching in a social manufacturing context, vi) advances in computing and communication technologies and vii) optimization of geometrical variation in spot welding sequences. An objective overview of the DT discourse, its underlying themes and high-impact publications is presented.

Abstractdigital twin; internet of things; cyber-physical system; product lifecycle management; health monitoring; authentication

Suggested citationAnte, L. (2021). Digital Twin technology for smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0: A bibliometric analysis of the intellectual structure of the research discourse. Manufacturing Letters, 27, 96-102. doi:10.1016/j.mfglet.2021.01.003


BRL Report No. 6

Digital Identity and Personal Data in 2020: Citizens‘ Opinions and Motives

Executive summaryBased on a representative survey among 1,000 German adult internet users, this report offers insights about the motivational factors for using digital identity solutions and risk perceptions towards the sharing and provision of personal data online as well as the trust placed in companies and institutions handling personal data. Citizens see “trust” and “actual benefits” of digital identity solutions as the most important motives, whereas “social motives” are subordinate. The highest risk associated with sharing personal data online is perceived to be its undetected usage without consent. Most personal data are provided for authentication while logging into specific online systems. The most trusted organizations handling personal data are friends and family, followed by public authorities and government institutions. The overall level of trust with regard to personal data handling is rather low, whereas the lowest trust is placed in companies’ unknown to them and internet companies.

Suggested citationBlockchain Research Lab (2020). Digital Identity and Personal Data in 2020: Citizens’ Opinions and Motives. BRL Report No. 6.