Touts GDPR-compliance

Heraklion encourages reuse of its open source identity management tool

Published on: 19/12/2018
Last update: 04/04/2019

Public administrations across Greece are welcome to reuse the identity-management software solution built by the city of Heraklion. In 2017 the city began combining OpenLDAP for directory services and an identity server from WSO2, and is now tying this combination into most of its services.

The OpenLDAP/WSO2 combination makes it easier for the city to share applications across its public services, the University of Crete and the Cretan government.

The Cretan capital, the fourth largest city in Greece, has been using open source components for over a decade. Examples include WordPress for several of its websites and Postfix and Horde for its email, says Panagiotis Kranidiotis, an IT consultant involved in the OpenLDAP/WSO2 project. He presented on the project at the WSO2Con EU 2018 conference in London last month.

This is the footer of the Heraklion smart city website, a schematic drawing of buildings and ICT symbols According to Mr Kranidiotis, other municipalities are looking into deploying Heraklion’s implementation.

“By reusing this solution, other municipalities can save costs. Not only by replacing proprietary LDAP and identity systems, but also because this lowers the costs for tying in new applications and services,” he said. “This makes it easier to share user and identity services with, for example, local public services, universities and even companies.”

Smart city

In addition, Heraklion’s new system offers an EIDAS- and GDPR-compliant tool for managing municipal staff and citizens,” he said. The European Union’s EIDAS regulation, which sets out technical standards for electronic identification services, has been in force since September. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) defines rules for data protection and privacy, and has been in force since May.

“The WSO2 identity solution provides a good fit for the city,” says George Vitsakis, head of the IT department at the University of Crete, who was closely involved in the project. “It’s robust and enterprise-grade, and is helping the city to lower the cost of managing users and user rights across multiple applications.”

Open source is a core component of the city’s 2016 smart city strategy.  "Enhancing the use of open standards and free and open source software is one of our challenges," says Costis Mochianakis, head of the city's IT department.

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Presentation by Mr Kranidiotis