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

Re: Alternative terminology for "consumer"

From: Dave Longley <dlongley@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 13:15:33 -0400
To: "Varn, Richard J" <rvarn@ets.org>
Cc: Kerri Lemoie <kerri@openworksgrp.com>, Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <56FD5B35.8020806@digitalbazaar.com>
On 03/31/2016 12:08 PM, Varn, Richard J wrote:
> Right, but the entity using the claim does not verify, authenticate, 
> or approve the claim -- they use it for some process or purpose and 
> the purpose is a gatekeeper function.

When we say "verifiable claims" what is "verifiable" is the
non-repudiability of a claim. A "claim" is useful to its "user" exactly
because they can verify the authenticity of its authorship; they can
have very strong assurance that a claim was made by a particular entity
(issuer). The whole process is really just a privacy-enhancing mechanism
for extending trust in an issuer to trust in the presenter (holder) of a
claim. You could think of a "consumer" of a claim as a "truster" in this
sense (yet another potential replacement term).

The act of checking that this claim was made by a particular issuer can
be called "verifying" or "authenticating". But I do understand that
there may be confusion over what we mean when we say "verify", i.e., is
it verification of the claim's authorship or its contents? And this may
be where your statement that the consumer does not verify the claim may
come -- in the latter sense that's true. The strength of "verifiable
claims" is that the consumer merely needs to verify the claim's
authorship to establish trust, they don't need to play the role of
issuer. Again, this suggests maybe "truster" is a good term.

Now, it's certainly true that once a consumer is convinced of the
claim's authorship, they then use it (based on its contents) for
some purpose. So it's reasonable to say that they play a role of
"gatekeeper" for whatever that purpose is.

> --they use it for some process or purpose and the purpose is a 
> gatekeeper function. I think gatekeeper, especially when pared with 
> function, has drifted from a military context and it's a fairly 
> unique phrase without any generic synonyms except the pretty obscure
>  "ostiary." I have no firm position or dog in this discussion, 
> licensed or otherwise holding any dog credentials, just thinking.

Sure! Appreciate the input as always. :)


-- 
Dave Longley
CTO
Digital Bazaar, Inc.
Received on Thursday, 31 March 2016 17:15:58 UTC

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