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

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

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2016 21:14:06 -0400
To: james anderson <james@dydra.com>
Cc: public-credentials@w3.org
Message-ID: <5760ABDE.80609@digitalbazaar.com>
On 06/14/2016 01:52 PM, james anderson wrote:
>> On 2016-06-14, at 16:03, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com 
>> <mailto:msporny@digitalbazaar.com>> wrote:
>> 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:
>> http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/2016/04/the-path-to-self-soverereign-identity.html
Over time, we've found that people associate the word "sovereign" with
>> "nation state", which is not what we want.
> that is why you would want to associate it with “claim”, not use it
> in isolation.

There still quite a bit of miscommunication going on here, let me try to
clear things up a bit.

self-sovereign was never used alone. It is commonly paired with
something like "self-sovereign architecture" or "self-sovereign
identity" or "self-sovereign authentication". Some of these pairings
make sense. Others, like "self-sovereign claim" don't. Claims don't
exist by themselves. They have issuers, subjects, and holders.

We are asserting that in a self-sovereign architecture, issuers,
subjects, and holders, should be allowed to have complete domain over
their existence (which effectively boils down to one or more identifiers).

>> We're also trying to find a word that isn't easily corrupted, like 
>> "user-centric" arguably was during the OpenID Connect days.
> but, you are “corrupting" it in your use. the earliest use, that i
> have found, intended to distinguish the status from that of a
> “sovereign”, as in your cited “nation state”, and to associate the
> status with an individual person. which is not what you intend to
> do.

If you replace "person" with "entity, that's exactly what we intend to
do. Ensure that entities have full control over their identifiers and
the claims issued to them to hold and use.

> every usage in the current discourse has been to describe a claim,
> not a person.

Hmm, struggling to figure out why you think this?

> perhaps you hope, that the formulation will lead one to appreciate
> that the intent is to permit an individual to take advantage of that 
> sovereignty, but, as hopeful as that approach may be, it is not very 
> carefully reasoned.

I don't follow. Help.

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
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Received on Wednesday, 15 June 2016 01:14:34 UTC

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