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 09:44:58 -0800
To: public-credentials@w3.org
Message-ID: <56D7269A.8060502@sunshine.net>
On 3/2/16 7:36 AM, Gregg Kellogg wrote:
> An alternative scenario might be a whistle-blower feeling
> retaliation.

I'm not sure how that's different from the Journalist and Scientist 
examples. Especially the Scientist example specified Rachel "would 
like to keep her job", which to me implied that there was danger of 
her being fired -- classic retaliation.

But the Novelist example seemed different because it postulates a 
mainstream use of Credentials to enable commercial sales, banking, and 
publishing systems to support the dissemination of innovative ideas: 
specifically, as contained in books which are sold, but by extension 
this use would apply equally to bloggers, and to web-sites. I see it 
as a core example of how pseudo-anonymous Credentials could be used 
increase both the commerce and the usefulness of Internet.


 > On Mar 2, 2016, at 8:31 AM, Steven Rowat
 > <steven_rowat@sunshine.net> wrote:
 >> Hi,
 >> 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.

> Gregg
>>> 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.
>> Journalist: 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.
>> Scientist: 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 enforcement.
>> Steven
>>> 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 17:45:26 UTC

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