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

Re: Room for government DIDs?

From: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2017 11:06:38 -0800
To: public-credentials@w3.org
Message-ID: <7b945da9-942e-c2f6-20de-306b16542676@sunshine.net>
On 2017-11-28 9:23 AM, Markus Sabadello wrote:
> So you would model your natural, "self-sovereign" identity by creating
> DIDs, and you would model "legal identity" not by issuing new DIDs, but
> by issuing verifiable claims that make assertions about your DID.
> E.g. the government could issue claims for you about citizenship, date
> of birth, national identifier (such as the Peruvian DNI you mentioned),
> driver's license, and everything else that constitutes the "legal self"
> you are talking about.

+1 This seems so straightforward that I'd hope it can work everywhere.

But in case there are technical/political reasons why governments 
might want to issue their own DID, could it be set up to be optional 
-- so that both systems would work together?

I.e., some governments could set up their own, while others could 
merely issue verifiable claims as you suggest?


> I think this topic on "legal ID" and "self-sovereign ID" is a great
> example where we can align our technological tools with "how identity
> works in the real world".
> Markus
> On 11/28/2017 02:52 AM, 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, 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 19:07:02 UTC

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