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Re: Verifiable Claims Telecon Minutes for 2016-02-09

From: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:33:33 -0800
To: public-credentials@w3.org
Message-ID: <56BE6BCD.4090701@sunshine.net>
Greetings,

In considering the "Final Report on Verifiable Claims by
Industry Participants and Invited Experts" I'm impressed by the 
Problem Statement and almost all the Summary.

But I echo some others' concerns that 'consumers' is an ill-chosen 
word. Too much baggage. It works as a stand-in, but I hope it will be 
replaced somehow. And I've had a couple of thoughts about other words 
that might work. Consider this paragraph from the Final Report:

> Consumers of claims should be able to independently verify claims
> and not rely on the identity provider to do so. To ensure privacy
> is protected, a consumer of a claim shouldn’t be required to
> contact an identity provider to verify the authenticity of the
> claim.

I tried re-reading that paragraph using each of the following instead 
of 'consumers':

Viewers of claims...
Analyzers...
Evaluators...

I find in particular the first and last interesting, and I lean 
towards "Evaluators", but I think "Viewers" could also work.

FWIW, here's my more detailed reasoning:

The person who is the 'consumer' of the Claim, now-called, is actually 
doing all three of those things, in that order.

First, they View the claim -- in whatever protocol it's presented to 
them. They have no control of what that form is; it's set by the 
standard. So they are merely allowed to View it; they can't change the 
Claim in any way.

Next, they Analyze the claim that they View. This is necessary because 
it's a complex document with parts or links to other data. They must 
do this in order to ensure that it matches what they need, so they can 
then give it a criteria ranking of some sort. Which leads to the third 
step...

Finally, they Evaluate -- once they're sure that it matches the 
protocol they're following, they compare it with what they need and 
with what else is available, to decide whether it's useful for their 
needs.

So IMO perhaps 'Evaluators', which would contain the first two 
(Viewer, Analyzer) necessarily within it, is the most viable option?

But even 'Viewers' I find acceptable, because it gets across the idea 
that these are not the people who own, make, or offer the claim; they 
merely View it (and make their own decision about what that means to 
them).

Also, later reading through the Use Cases document,

http://opencreds.org/specs/source/use-cases/

it still seems to me that 'Evaluators' could be used everywhere that 
'Consumers' is, and IMO would work better.

'Viewers' perhaps not so much, since there's the idea of the 
processing action in both 'Evaluator' and 'Consumer', which is missing 
in 'Viewer'.


Steven Rowat
Received on Friday, 12 February 2016 23:33:59 UTC

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