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The Charter of the Fédération Éducation-Recherche doesn’t allow some providers of commercial services to register in the Fédération. In order to become a partner organization, the conditions specify in particular that the organization must provide content directly linked with education or research activities or offer services to support higher education institutions (for example to manage some tasks…) and in this last case to be sponsored by several members.

For several years, some providers of commercial services have been able to work around these restrictions through a registration in countries that have a less specific policy. This means such commercial platforms can access institutions that are announced to eduGAIN.

Several of these platforms are present in eduGAIN and offer students discounts on retail services (video, music services, etc…). The downstream retail services pay the commercial platforms to verify if the end user is a student or not, and those platforms can do so, benefiting from federation membership that is often free of charge. This model raises concerns in terms of transparency and data privacy.

As a consequence, RENATER has decided to filter out from eduGAIN from 1st March 2021 all services of this kind that have been identified so far. This is a non-exhaustive list of these services:

From this date, the above-mentioned services will not be available through eduGAIN for French identity providers, but it may be possible to access them using the InAcademia service.

In order to regulate this kind of activity and to anonymize the data that is shared, GÉANT has created the InAcademia service. InAcademia makes it possible to verify the affiliation of students whilst preserving privacy of the user. Any surplus generated by InAcademia will mostly be used to fund the development of services for the community.

RENATER has been participating with InAcademia for several months in order to define more precisely the scope of this service in France.

For more information, please contact us via the support portal of RENATER. Click on “Support Request” under “Services” and specify “Identity>Federation” in the list of services.

  • federation/en/documentation/generale/filtering-services-edugain/index.txt
  • Dernière modification : 2021/01/25 18:40
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