W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > March 2016

Re: Use-Cases - pseudo-anonymity examples

From: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2016 07:31:48 -0800
To: Shane McCarron <shane@spec-ops.io>, public-credentials@w3.org
Message-ID: <56D70764.6060208@sunshine.net>

In regard to the two pseudo-anonymity attempts I drafted (reproduced 
after below, for comparison), I've realized that neither would 
necessarily be of direct interest to people in the Web Payment IG. 
Here's a third possibility that incorporates that:

Indira lives in an Asian country and has written a book about FGM 
(Female Genital Mutilation). She was a FGM victim herself, and her 
book is about the small village she grew up in. Because of her fear of 
local retaliation (which could be violent), and fear of hurting people 
in her own family, she has transposed her book's characters and 
setting to a fictitious village in southern Egypt, a country which she 
knows has a high FGM problem as well. The book is selling well both in 
her country and worldwide via Amazon, but she has used an author 
pseudonym and needs a Credential that will allow the publishers, 
Amazon, and the banking system to deposit money into an account, and 
for her to get money out, without undue access being given to her 
personal name and location data.

On 3/1/16 8:00 PM, Shane McCarron wrote:
> I don't disagree.  The financial one was of primary importance in
> our first draft.  Maybe you can craft a couple of other scenarios?

I'll take a stab.

Ahmed is a full-time journalist in North Africa who wishes to publish 
video material of interviews with torture victims. His media employers 
refuse to publish the material themselves because of government 
threats. However they are willing to certify his credentials. He will 
therefore publish the material himself using a pseudonym, and the end 
viewer will know that the material was provided by a certified 
professional journalist who cannot be identified for safety reasons.

Rachel is a biochemist working for a large chemical corporation. She 
has access to files dating back to the 1970s that show that the 
corporation suppressed toxicity trial results. Rachel is has a PhD in 
biochemistry, and is a member in good standing of the American 
Chemical Society and other professional bodies. She would like to use 
her verified credentials to give weight to her story, but would like 
to keep her job. She would like pseudo-anonymity for when she is 
making the information available to journalists, the public, or law 


> On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 5:20 PM, Steven Rowat
> <steven_rowat@sunshine.net <mailto:steven_rowat@sunshine.net>>
> wrote:
> On 3/1/16 9:30 AM, msporny@digitalbazaar.com
> <mailto:msporny@digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
> Manu Sporny:  Please send feedback on the mailing list, the
> VCTF/Credentials CG/ or WPIG mailing list, whichever you have
> access to.  ...[snip]... Manu Sporny:  So also feedback on the use
> cases.
> +1 to Pseudo-Anonymity remaining as an "Essential" claim as now
> provided in the Use Cases document. I'd be very distressed if it
> was chopped for any reason. Glad to see it still there! :-)
> But... in support of that: to get future readers of the document to
> agree on its importance, I believe the single scenario given (June
> going to buy a bottle of wine and not wishing to divulge anything
> other than age) doesn't adequately convey the scope of why this is
> essential, society-wide.
> I'm thinking of the more specific 'protection from known danger'
> scenarios, such as: journalists reporting from countries that
> threaten them with death, scientists whistleblowing from corporate
> crime, novelists writing about their own dysfunctional social
> milieu.
> Any of these scenarios may be of large value to the society, and to
> work best, or work at all in some cases, they require that we can
> identify the origin of the conveyed information as trustworthy
> without needing the originator to broadcast publicly their personal
> contact information.
> June and the bottle doesn't convey those use-cases for me, although
> it's technically still a pseudo-anonymity. It's important also, but
> different. So I think we need at least one of each kind.
> Steven Rowat
> -- Shane McCarron Projects Manager, Spec-Ops
Received on Wednesday, 2 March 2016 15:32:17 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 2 March 2016 15:32:17 UTC