W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > November 2017

Re: Room for government DIDs?

From: David Chadwick <D.W.Chadwick@kent.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2017 15:52:45 +0000
To: public-credentials@w3.org
Message-ID: <075124d6-ed2b-ca05-1e20-b5244dde1671@kent.ac.uk>
Hi David

On 28/11/2017 01:52, David E. Ammouial wrote:
> Hello,
> I recently joined the few identity-related workgroups, out of interest
> for the general subject of decentralised digital identity. I like the
> idea of DIDs a lot because I find it refreshingly realistic to
> acknowledge the existence of multiple identity "worlds" rather than
> trying to create one meant to be the only one. I'm using the world
> "refreshingly" because it really brings back the original spirit of an
> internet that is diverse at all levels.
> Back to the subject of this email. Governments' attempted monopoly of
> the concept of people's identity is something I personally dislike. You
> are not defined by what a government accepts or says about you, but by
> what you say and accept about yourself,

This is not totally true. I might like to think and say that I am a US
citizen, but that would not hold any sway with any country, and I would
not get into the US without a valid visa (or visa waiver) issued by the
US government. You are, whether you like it or not, defined almost
entirely by what other organisations say about you. You cannot award
yourself the title of Doctor and be believed by any health organisation.
Only a recognised health authority can do that. Virtually all the
attributes you have are given by organisations of various types.



> and maybe by what the people you
> care about say and accept about you. However, in some situations those
> "people you care about" do include governmental entities, for practical
> definitions of "caring". :)
> To give a concrete example, you might want to allow your "legal self" to
> act upon your Sovrin/uPort/V1/X identity through an institution or a
> company. For example if a government entity provides a facial
> recognition API to authenticate people, that would correspond in
> practice to a service of a "did:gov" method. Proving that you are who
> you say you are (in legal terms) can be something desirable.
> What would be the practical steps of introducing a "did:gov" method? I'm
> thinking of a schema like:
>     did:gov:XX:xxxxxxx
> Such an identity would be issued by the government of country XX (e.g.
> US, FR, PE, etc.). The last bit would depend on the rules of each
> particular country. For example Peru has different types of identity
> documents: DNI (documento nacional de identidad) for nationals, CE
> (carné de extranjería) for residents that are not nationals, and a few
> others. In that context, Peru would perhaps define DIDs around the lines
> of "did:gov:pe:dni:1234345", but that would obviously be up to the
> Peruvian government to define those rules.
> What do you think? There are probably technical aspects, legal aspects,
> practical aspects... I apologise if this topic has already be brought up
> in the past and I didn't read about it before posting. I did some basic
> research on the list's archive and couldn't find anything.
Received on Tuesday, 28 November 2017 15:53:16 UTC

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