W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-webid@w3.org > July 2011

Re: WebID, BrowserID and NSTIC

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2011 23:38:03 +0100
Message-ID: <4E2DF04B.2010409@openlinksw.com>
To: Francisco Corella <fcorella@pomcor.com>
CC: "public-xg-webid@w3.org" <public-xg-webid@w3.org>, Karen Lewison <kplewison@pomcor.com>
On 7/25/11 7:34 PM, Francisco Corella wrote:
> Kingsley,
>
> > On 7/24/11 8:23 PM, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
> > > On 7/24/11 7:34 PM, Francisco Corella wrote:
> > >> This not a theoretical issue, it is a very practical one.  If WebID
> > >> were used as a general purpose WebID, a malicious medical insurance
> > >> company in the US could set up a health information Web site with
> > >> discussion groups.  If a user signed up with a WebID and joined a
> > >> discussion group on cancer, the insurance company could later deny
> > >> insurance to the user on suspicion that the user had cancer or a
> > >> dependent who has cancer.  This issue can be avoided by using instead
> > >> a "login certificate" issued by the relying party itself, as we
> > >> propose in section 4.6 of our white paper.
> > > But, nothing about WebID implies that a personal is 'You'.
> > >
> > > Let's take the Spiderman and Peter Parker scenario. You can have 
> WebIDs for both, and only the real identity behind either knows about 
> the owl:sameAs relation.
> > >
> > > I am saying WebID == Who You Really Are. It just enables 
> identifiers to be verified. It basically caters for alter egos etc..
> >
> > Meant to say:
> >
> > But, nothing about WebID implies that a personal URI refers to 'You', 
> specifically. It just enables verifiable identifiers that are 
> associated with identities :-)
>
> OK, WebID can be pseudonymous, but each pseudonym needs to backed by a
> different web of trust, which gets tricky.

No it doesn't, that's the beauty of this whole system :-) We have OWL 
and RDFS semantics as mechanisms for Trust Logics.

I can assert, in my own data space, leveraging my own reasoner the fact 
that:

<PeterParker> owl:sameAs <SpiderMan>.

I could be the only one privy to this assertion, and be the only one 
capable of applying reasoning to this data space specific fact.


>
> Anyway, independently of what identity technology you use, pseudonyms
> are not always appropriate, because they allow tracking.

The whole InterWeb is laden with fingerprinting though, the key is 
ultimately about integrating anonymity at the appropriate layer. In this 
case, via WebID we do have anonymity. I can be my own IdP and the 
location of my data space could be wherever. Of course, there are some 
fingerprints, but no more than those associated with other URIs such as 
mailto: scheme URIs.

> Colluding
> real parties can share information to get a complete picture of all
> your activities under a particular pseudonym.

Yes, that's always a possibility. But it isn't one sided, I could also 
make it very hard to decipher "who I am".

> You can mitigate the
> attack by using many different pseudonyms, and being careful about
> which pseudonym you use for which relying party.  But many relying
> parties just need to know that you are the same user who visited them
> earlier.

A relying party doesn't really need to know all your identities. In 
short, this is the kicker since you should be the one asserting 
identifier co-reference(s) not the relying party .

> In that case you don't need a pseudonym, or equivalently you
> need a pseudonym that's only used for that relying party; that's what
> a "login certificate" is, in our proposal.

Yes, but you can achieve that with WebID due to its underlying Semantic 
richness.

>
> Preventing tracking by colluding relying parties is an explicit goal
> of NSTIC, according to Howard Schmidt's post to the White House blog,
> at
> http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/04/26/national-strategy-trusted-identities-cyberspace-and-your-privacy 
> .

Yes, a vital goal. WebID lets you be your own IdP and that's key to 
addressing this requirement, alongside pseudonyms, anonymity, and the 
semantic prowess of RDFS and OWL :-)


Kingsley
>
> Francisco
>
> Francisco Corella, PhD
> Founder & CEO, Pomcor
> Twitter: @fcorella
> Blog: http://pomcor.com/blog/
> Email: fcorella@pomcor.com
> Web site: http://pomcor.com
>
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     *From:* Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
>     *To:* public-xg-webid@w3.org
>     *Sent:* Sunday, July 24, 2011 2:36 PM
>     *Subject:* Re: WebID, BrowserID and NSTIC
>
>     On 7/24/11 8:23 PM, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>     > On 7/24/11 7:34 PM, Francisco Corella wrote:
>     >> This not a theoretical issue, it is a very practical one.  If WebID
>     >> were used as a general purpose WebID, a malicious medical insurance
>     >> company in the US could set up a health information Web site with
>     >> discussion groups.  If a user signed up with a WebID and joined a
>     >> discussion group on cancer, the insurance company could later deny
>     >> insurance to the user on suspicion that the user had cancer or a
>     >> dependent who has cancer.  This issue can be avoided by using
>     instead
>     >> a "login certificate" issued by the relying party itself, as we
>     >> propose in section 4.6 of our white paper.
>     > But, nothing about WebID implies that a personal is 'You'.
>     >
>     > Let's take the Spiderman and Peter Parker scenario. You can have
>     WebIDs for both, and only the real identity behind either knows
>     about the owl:sameAs relation.
>     >
>     > I am saying WebID == Who You Really Are. It just enables
>     identifiers to be verified. It basically caters for alter egos etc..
>
>     Meant to say:
>
>     But, nothing about WebID implies that a personal URI refers to
>     'You', specifically. It just enables verifiable identifiers that
>     are associated with identities :-)
>
>     -- 
>     Regards,
>
>     Kingsley Idehen
>     President&  CEO
>     OpenLink Software
>     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
>     Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
>     <http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/%7Ekidehen>
>     Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


-- 

Regards,

Kingsley Idehen	
President&  CEO
OpenLink Software
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen
Received on Monday, 25 July 2011 22:38:42 UTC

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