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self-sovereign terminology (was Re: New revision of Verifiable Claims Architecture summary)

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2016 10:03:23 -0400
Message-ID: <57600EAB.7040905@digitalbazaar.com>
To: public-credentials@w3.org
On 06/14/2016 03:55 AM, james anderson wrote:
> yes, why is “self-sovereign” a more appropriate term than
> “sovereign”?

Background reading on the "self-sovereign" term:


Over time, we've found that people associate the word "sovereign" with
"nation state", which is not what we want.

We tested the word "self-sovereign" among ambassadors at the United
Nations and one even used the term in a speech they gave. Keep in mind
that until that happened, we didn't know if we'd have sovereign nation
buy-in for the terminology.

These aren't identifiers that nation states have control over, these are
identifiers that individual entities have control over.

We're also trying to find a word that isn't easily corrupted, like
"user-centric" arguably was during the OpenID Connect days. While some
claim that OpenID Connect is truly user-centric, many of its criticizers
note that Microsoft and Facebook co-opted the term and changed its
meaning over time (for reasons left to the imagination). Users have no
ultimate power over their identifiers in OpenID-based systems. That's
not a slam against OpenID or SAML, it's just a reality of the design
choices that were made. Those systems are still broadly deployed and
used, even with their arguable shortcomings.

Hope that helps explain the careful deliberation around the
self-sovereign term.

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: The Web Browser API Incubation Anti-Pattern
Received on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 14:03:46 UTC

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