W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > February 2015

State, not Identity-based Credential Use Cases?

From: Brian Sletten <brian.sletten@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2015 12:05:39 -0800
Message-Id: <7A55CA80-22E8-4A84-BB74-1ADCC8BFB47B@gmail.com>
To: W3C Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>
I am working on a talk in which, among other things, I am generating JSON-LD for sensor data and serving it up via an embedded HTTP server. Sensor data includes things like GPS location, ambient temperature/humidity levels, etc. As I submit this data to another service, I started wondering how to avoid someone lying about their location. The process has gotten me wondering about another use of credentials that I haven't seen much discussion on. We generally are thinking about long-term, identity-based credentials (clearly the dominant use), but I am wondering if the group thinks it would be useful to also consider shorter term, state-based credentials not necessarily tied to an identity.

I can imagine a large number of scenarios, but here are a couple:

1) Demonstrating that you are within a particular geographic area. Obviously checking the reverse geolocation of an IP address is a form of this, but I am thinking of something more verifiable. Anyone can lie about where they are, but if there is a local credentialing service on a particular Wifi network or you are within range of a low energy Bluetooth beacon, we could assert a geographic location credential which could be useful for access to services, resources, marketing opportunities, etc. 

2) Demonstrating that you own a token. I can imagine a variety of uses for something like this. Games, workflow management, etc. Imagine something like Ingress (https://www.ingress.com) but with a capture-the-flag component. Or, in a distributed workflow (inventory management, sales channel fulfillment, etc.), if there are a variety of participants (or participating systems), you could require that only one at a time can take action on a common resource. Clearly, this is possible w/o an open standard credential, but I wonder if it might be easier to build something like that around standards in loosely-coupled ways. There would obviously have to be another credentialing service that asserts the current token ownership in a distributed and portable way.

I don't think this necessarily changes anything about the existing focus, I just wonder if there is value in considering some less conventional uses of machine-processable credential standards for scenarios like this. Basically, might we consider state-based credentials rather than only identity-based credentials?
Received on Thursday, 12 February 2015 20:06:12 UTC

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