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Call for Focal DID Use Cases

From: Joe Andrieu <joe@joeandrieu.com>
Date: Tue, 08 May 2018 12:06:52 -0700
Message-Id: <1525806412.2707240.1365136992.1876DA9C@webmail.messagingengine.com>
To: Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>
TLDR: Nominate your favorite DID use case for inclusion in the DID Use Case document
On today's call we started the conversation about what use cases to
include in the support document for chartering a new working group for
Decentralized Identifiers.
This is your chance to make a case for the most relevant use case DIDs.
If you have one you'd like to suggest, simple send the list an email
with some or all of the following:
*Name *-- A pithy name that captures the relevance of the use case
*Background *-- A sentence or three capturing current state of practice,
the motivation, and the value it creates*Description *-- A paragraph capturing the core action of the use case:
what people do*Sticky Wicket *-- A sentence or three capturing the awkward challenge
in this particular situation*Distinction *-- A brief phrase explaining what makes this use
case distinct
What makes a good use case?

A good use case is one that is:
A. *Unique* -- minimal overlap with other use cases
B. *Relevant* -- highlights the particular value of DIDs
C. *Value Creating* -- there is demonstrable value to the people at the
   heart of the use caseD. *Simple yet Sticky* --  simple enough to be accessible, but also
   captures a potentially complicated edge case.E. *Specific *-- Uses real names and real situations to help readers
   empathize with the human requirements
For D, it's great when the basic functionality is straightforward and we
fold in a question of "but what if..." and illustrate how DIDs handle a
particular real-world problem better than existing approaches.
Here's an example Use Case for DIDs:

*Name*: Digital Executor

*Background*: Today, when people die, there are no standard technologies
for heirs, executors, or probate courts to properly take control of an
individual's online accounts and digital assets. With a DID linked to
accounts and assets, a DID owner could define a trigger for a third
party to assume control over the DID Document. Ideally, this trigger
would specify (a) an oracle (how to know the death/incapacity occurred),
(b) a means for the new owner to assert control, and (c) appropriate
checks and accountability.
*Description*: Kathy uses DIDs to manage her authentications to various
services. As part of her estate planning, she generates a unique
credential that she gives to her attorney, Gloria, with provisions
specified in her will, which initially lists Mike as the digital
executor. With appropriate obfuscation, that credential is specified in
multiple DID documents as a probate authority, with the authorization to
change the master key in case of death, which shall be recorded
publicly, on chain, as a notarized invocation of the probate authority.
As it happens, Kathy had a falling out with Mike and notified Gloria
just two weeks before her death that her friend Miyake should now be her
digital executor. Upon Kathy's death, Gloria uses the probate credential
to publicly record the assertion of probate and to replace the DID's
master key with a new key, controlled by Miyake, who lives in Japan
(Kathy, Gloria, and Mike live in the United States). Now, any system
using Kathy's DIDs for authentication can programmatically recognized
Miyake's authority *and* specifically know that Kathy's credentials were
modified under a assertion of probate.
*Sticky Wicket*: The late date change in digital executorship from Mike
to Miyake could be problematic if Kathy had directly listed Mike's
credential in the DID Document. Because she instead chose to rely on her
attorney, Kathy has a more flexible way to direct her wishes, while
still leveraging the collective control over her authenticated logins to
various services. In addition, Miyake's geographic location could make
it hard for them to travel to the United States and may make it
difficult to provide proof of identity traditionally used by U.S.
courts. Also, because Gloria invokes the probate mechanism, Miyake need
only provide a suitable credential at that time; he did not need to
create and maintain a credential over a long period of time (as would be
the case if Gloria weren't involved).
*Distinction*: Multiple DIDs with a common, blinded authority for
probate assumption of control. The legal selection of the new owner is
mediated through a trusted fiduciary (an attorney of record). Cross-
border transfer of ownership.

The more you can flesh out the details, the better. We will consider a
variety of options before we whittle down to a few canonical, focal
use cases.
Please chime in with your preferred Use Case.

-j

--
Joe Andrieu, PMP
joe@joeandrieu.com
+1(805)705-8651
http://blog.joeandrieu.com
Received on Tuesday, 8 May 2018 19:07:24 UTC

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