W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > June 2016

Re: Request for terminology input - consumer/inspector/TBD Credential

From: Dave Longley <dlongley@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2016 10:35:16 -0400
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>, Web Payments IG <public-webpayments-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <57582D24.9020303@digitalbazaar.com>
On 06/07/2016 11:00 PM, Manu Sporny wrote:
> We discussed terminology on the Verifiable Claims Task Force call today
> and left two things undecided. We really need to get this terminology
> straight in order to align the prose in all of the documents. As a first
> step, we need to get all of the options on the table.
> -------
> We have a block in our architecture block diagram that is currently
> labeled as "inspector":
> http://w3c.github.io/webpayments-ig/VCTF/architecture/architecture.svg
> This is the entity that requests a set of verifiable claims from the
> holder and examines them to determine if they are valid for the purposes
> of granting access to a particular resource. Naming options include:
> Consumer
> Inspector
> Reader
> Verifier
> Receiver

I'd like to add "Requester" to the list. I can't say it's my #1 (I
apologize for not complying with that particular caveat for new
suggestions), but it was offered in the previous call as an alternative
so I thought it should be here.

When someone visits a website that requires authentication, they will be
asked to provide their credentials by this party. So we're talking about
the party that is "requesting" a credential/set of claims from the
holder. It seems natural that "Requester" should be considered as a
possible name. They may not be the same party that does the verification
or "inspection" as they may outsource this -- so I feel like it's a
better name than "Verifier" or "Inspector".

The term "consumer" has caused confusion/trouble for a number of people
so I would prefer to find something less controversial.

I'm also amenable to reusing an existing term of art, "Relying Party",
as offered by David Chadwick. But it is both a positive and a negative
that it's an existing term. While it's easy for people who know the term
to grasp its purpose quickly, it may bring with it baggage we do not
want or it may suggest to people that we're not inventing something new.
We moved away from "user centric" for similar reasons, but there was a
strong misalignment of definitions there whereas Relying Party closely
matches here.

Dave Longley
Digital Bazaar, Inc.
Received on Wednesday, 8 June 2016 14:35:42 UTC

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