Federated Authorization for Managed Data Sharing:Experiences from the ImPACT Project

The 30th International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks (ICCCN 2021)


This paper presents the rationale and design of the trust plane for ImPACT, a federated platform for managed sharing of restricted data. Key elements of the architecture include Web-based notaries for credential establishment based on declarative templates for Data Usage Agreements, a federated authorization pipeline, integration of popular services for identity management, and programmable policy based on a logical trust model with a repository of linked certificates. We show how these elements of the trust plane work in concert, and set the ideas in context with principles of federated authorization. A focus and contribution of the paper is to explore limitations of the resulting architecture and tensions among competing design goals. We also point the way toward future extensions, including policy-checked data access from cloud-hosted data enclaves with enhanced defenses against data leakage and exfiltration.