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Re: "Identity"

From: Joe Andrieu <joe@joeandrieu.com>
Date: Tue, 30 May 2017 18:42:25 -0700
Message-Id: <1496194945.121002.993588568.7C9850E8@webmail.messagingengine.com>
To: public-credentials@w3.org
Right. I didn't suggest otherwise, Tim.  We shouldn't be trying to
"solve identity". We're in agreement on that.
I asked that we find a way to contain identity conversations without
demonizing the term.
In particular, if we can't coherently discuss how verifiable claims
affect privacy and identity, we will be creating exactly the kinds of
systems that are feared by those opposed to cross-domain identifiers.
That opposition will then have even more fuel to oppose any proposed
As you say, "verifiable claims form a constituent of what identity is
for living things and other actors". That's right.
If we can't discuss that coherently, we are doing ourselves and the
community a disservice.

On Tue, May 30, 2017, at 06:02 PM, Timothy Holborn wrote:
> I have seen this been brought up and it was noted, if I think I'm
> interested in working on a solution for identity then get 5 people,
> set up a CG, et.al.> Yet it had been declared and demanded over the life of W3 credentials
> works that the group is not working on identity, therefore the
> solutions being defined are not suited for these usecases.> What they are designed for is verifiable claims.

> The possibilities of digital identity is like an invisible shackle
> around the necks of unwittingly Nieve humans.  It is amongst the
> greatest flaws of our internet, our web, that it has not been
> addressed when so many other issues have been.> It is a defining characteristic of open-standards communities in their
> long-term inability to effectively address this problem.> So whilst I agree, it's a really big problem...

> This group is not in a straight forward and transparent manner
> seeking to solve the identity problem and will not be able to solve
> it effectively using any other engagement method, as such, isn't
> doing it.> The group is working on verifiable claims, specifically, and whilst
> verifiable claims form a constituent of what identity is for living
> things and other actors; it is simply not, identity.> Tim.h.

> On Wed., 31 May 2017, 3:41 am Joe Andrieu, <joe@joeandrieu.com> wrote:>> __
>> I started this note to send to Manu in particular, but realized it
>> would be useful to share with the larger community. I chose not to cc
>> the workgroup because cross-posting rarely leads to coherent
>> conversations. Hopefully the community group is the right audience.>> 
>> This is a  personal request.
>> I appreciate the rathole we are trying to avoid by separating
>> "Identity" with a capital "I" from technical conversations. I get it.
>> A big part of my own contribution to the user-centric identity
>> conversation and at RWoT is to shift how we talk about "Identity"
>> because we usually do it so poorly.>> 
>> The fact is, "identity" is the sexy hot button that leads the
>> introduction and context at workshops like IIW and ID2020 and with
>> topics like self-sovereign identity and SDG 16.9. In other words,
>> "Identity" is exactly what so many conversations need to be about,
>> especially so people like regulators, CEOs, bankers, and ambassadors
>> can make better decisions about how identity is managed--whether
>> online or off.>> 
>> That's why I'm trying to fix how we talk about it. Because we can't
>> have the disabling ratholes suck up attention and inflame unnecessary
>> passions.  We got a lovely rant by Frederic Engel in the RWoT session
>> I led on "functional identity". It was great. The French accent and
>> his passion and the whole gestalt was truly endearing and compelling.
>> It was perhaps the most appropriate response to my attempt to limit
>> exactly those types of rants. The irony was not lost on me. Instead,
>> it taught me that there is still a lot of work to do to somehow both
>> avoid the distraction while assimilating the passion and perspective.>> 
>> Unfortunately, establishing "Identity" as something we can't talk
>> about undermines the effort to shift that conversation. It's the
>> Overton window. When we make Identity off-topic for conversation, we
>> can't fix how we talk about it. When we dismiss "Identity" as a
>> viable element of conversation, we deny an entire region of relevant
>> discussion. I am betting that it isn't the actuality of identity that
>> frustrates us, it is the rathole those conversations can become.>> 
>> I argue the best way to avoid the rathole is to find the right way to
>> talk about it. The right context. The right definitions. The right
>> boundaries of scope.  Especially because whether we embrace it or
>> fight it, verifiable claims are going to be used for identity. I'd
>> like to face that head on rather than pretend it isn't going to
>> happen.>> 
>> One thing that became clearer in the community call today is the
>> motivation to avoid W3C hot buttons. Ok. I get that. It actually
>> makes my point. When an organization like W3C is unable to have
>> meaningful conversations about Identity, it is even more vital that
>> we shift how those conversations unfold. I support minimizing
>> "Identity" as a term where it doesn't clarify. There's a lot of that
>> in the current docs. But I don't see wholesale exorcism as the right
>> way to move the conversation forward either.>> 
>> In fact, I see *this* email as an important part of the conversation.
>> We need to find a way to talk about Identity without the ratholes,
>> rather than shut down all conversation about identity.>> 
>> So, my request is to please work with me to find a way to avoid the
>> rathole without demonizing the term itself, for example, by putting
>> it in "quotes" and adding caveats every time it is used.>> 
>> My current focus is on framing the conversation it terms of how
>> identity functions rather than what it means culturally,
>> psychologically, politically, or metaphysically. I also distinguish
>> "Identity" and "Digital Identity", the latter being a tool to
>> facilitate the former. That may or may not work for the groups in
>> this conversation, but I believe it is a promising direction.>> 
>> Thanks,
>> -j
>> --
>> Joe Andrieu, PMP
>> joe@joeandrieu.com
>> +1(805)705-8651
>> http://blog.joeandrieu.com

Joe Andrieu, PMP
Received on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 01:42:54 UTC

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