Special Committee (SC) User Group Activity Report 2023

Chair: Jean-Yves Monfort, AFUTT

Responsible for formalizing users’ views and requirements for other ETSI bodies, in order to improve standards and their relevancy.

The User Group Special Committee (SC USER) works with other ETSI committees to ensure that our standardization work reflects the needs of all users of ICT products and services, including consumers and businesses, network operators, service providers and individuals with special needs. It also liaises with external organizations such as the International Telecommunications Users Group (INTUG) or national such as AFUTT (Association Française des Utilisateurs de Télécommunications).

The committee has primary responsibility to:

  • Produce reports on user requirements to support ETSI’s standardization work.
  • Interface with policy setting bodies in ETSI to transmit users' viewpoints on subjects of relevance to European Telecommunications Standardization.
  • Consult with other ETSI Technical Bodies on users' needs and concerns.

Today we expect to be able to communicate anywhere, with everyone, at any time, on every device and at the same time use various services that will help us save time in our daily life. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) enable these new services, helping to improve our user profiles. But it is important to keep the user at the centre of the data system. To do so, SC USER has developed a Proof of Concept, with the development of a model to design a user-centric digital clone for smart identities. This application independent model allows users to keep in control of their own personal data.

This Proof of Concept builds the use case of an active profile for smart ID that would allow AI to offer an answer crafted in natural language. An example of question and required data could be: ‘I want to go to the gym, and I have to check of the weather will allow me to go out again – and I also need to find a gym close to home.’

The implementation of the PoC combines a user-centric informational model and the choice of relevant AI tools for Smart ID. It uses artificial neural networks to understand user needs and improve their profiling.

In 2023 the group accordingly published the second of two new Technical Reports that consider a user-centric approach in today’s digital ecosystem. Opening up further work on this approach, TR 103 875-2 proposes a ‘Smart Identity’ for the digital ecosystem, and demonstrates its feasibility with a Proof of Concept.

This latest report follows on from the previous year’s publication (November 2022) of TR 103 875‑1 that presents an analysis of user requirements and various use cases, and describes the model of smart ID (Smart Identity) as a user’s ‘digital clone’. It also explores the different possibilities of using new technologies including AI to achieve a smart identity.

The new report was presented publicly in a webinar held by the group on 20 April. 

The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated society’s reliance on digital platforms and services to support universal requirements for teleworking, online shopping, sharing vital information and simply keeping in touch. It also accentuated how users have become increasingly aware of the importance of quality of service (QoS) and the many factors contributing to it. Currently in draft form, a new Technical Report presents results of a survey conducted in different European countries, with an analysis based on different products, services and use cases that span e‑learning, e‑working, entertainment and communications. The report also identifies needs for standardization, regulation and innovation to answer to user needs.

See the full list of SC USER Work Items currently in development here.