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Re: Control & Identity [was Re: Teaching a 7 year old about decentalized identity/self-soverign identity ("SSI")]

From: Kim Hamilton Duffy <kim@learningmachine.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2018 15:29:32 -0800
Message-ID: <CAB=TY84WmYiHsZJih=bPg3QYYxwRC0YxnpM0nSMLE4tBe3mdvA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Adrian Gropper <agropper@healthurl.com>
Cc: Joe Andrieu <joe@legreq.com>, Nathan Aw <nathan.mk.aw@gmail.com>, daniel.hardman@evernym.com, W3C Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>
flagging this as CCG recommended reading

On Mon, Nov 19, 2018 at 2:22 AM Adrian Gropper <agropper@healthurl.com>

> Sarcasm noted and appreciated but the simple fact is that 7, 47, or 87
> year olds don't care about identity any more than they care about sentence
> structure in their particular language. It's what you do with it that
> people care about including reputation, employment, sex, health, not
> necessarily in that order.
> Adrian
> On Sun, Nov 18, 2018 at 1:19 PM Joe Andrieu <joe@legreq.com> wrote:
>> Still a ways to go I'm afraid.
>> Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
>> -------- Original message --------
>> From: Nathan Aw <nathan.mk.aw@gmail.com>
>> Date: 11/18/18 7:11 AM (GMT-08:00)
>> To: daniel.hardman@evernym.com
>> Cc: joe@legreq.com, W3C Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
>> Subject: Re: Control & Identity [was Re: Teaching a 7 year old about
>> decentalized identity/self-soverign identity ("SSI")]
>> Thank you Daniel, Joe and Adrian for your great inputs.
>> Am sure my 7 year old cousin will understand this topic better now. Thank
>> you!
>> Nathan Aw
>> On Fri, 16 Nov 2018, 04:12 Daniel Hardman <daniel.hardman@evernym.com
>> wrote:
>>> I wholeheartedly agree with Steven, Joe, and Adrian that "control" is
>>> problematic in exactly the ways pointed out. This was one of the words that
>>> I had in mind when I said that the definition suppresses certain details
>>> and is a simplification. Simplfications can be helpful for certain
>>> audiences, and very unhelpful for others.
>>> I wonder if we need to publish somewhare a "peeling back layers of the
>>> onion" discussion of SSI (or one that starts at 10K meters, then 100
>>> meters, then 1 meter, then 10 millimeters)--successively exploring how
>>> suppressed detail at the higher level needs to be added back in?
>>> On Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 12:01 PM Joe Andrieu <joe@legreq.com> wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Nov 14, 2018, at 11:09 AM, Steven Rowat wrote:
>>>> On 2018-11-14 9:56 AM, Daniel Hardman wrote:
>>>>  "SSI: An identity model that allows an individual or organization
>>>> to control their identities, or the identity of a thing, expressed
>>>> through the use of decentralized identifiers and digital credentials."
>>>> A comment is that 'control' might imply more than can be delivered for
>>>> 'identity'; to the   degree that identity consists in what other
>>>> people think of us and we can't control that part. I also find the
>>>> 'expressed' slightly confusing (about what is expressed -- the model,
>>>> the identity, or the thing) and the statement seems to works fine
>>>> without it. So perhaps:
>>>> Yes. "Control" is an improvement over ownership, but it still misses
>>>> the mark in a way I haven't yet figured out how to address.
>>>> Identity is a social construct. As Kaliya Young so elegantly presented
>>>> at MyData (and in her Master Thesis), identity is a triad:
>>>> 1. How I see myself
>>>> 2. How I present myself to others
>>>> 3. How others see me
>>>> This is a mutually reinforcing circle. How I see myself influences how
>>>> I present myself to others. How we present ourselves affects how others see
>>>> us. How others see us affects how we see ourselves.
>>>> We can mostly control how we affirmatively present to others--which is
>>>> essentially how selective presentation of Verifiable Credentials tied to
>>>> our own DIDs helps create a decentralized identity. However, this control
>>>> is itself limited in extent. Consider anyone who has tried to pass as a
>>>> different race or class, or transitioned from one gender to another. Our
>>>> physicality, our economic circumstance, even how we talk, all are areas of
>>>> our presentation over which we have only modest control.
>>>> Most importantly, we can't *control* how others see us. We can't
>>>> control others' biases and judgments. We can't control what other
>>>> information they bring to the table. Unfortunately, there's not even a way
>>>> to control what they do with any information presented to them. We try with
>>>> regulations like GDPR and user asserted terms of service, but those are
>>>> policies that establish guidance subject to later enforcement; they don't
>>>> actually control the spread & use of information as much as enable
>>>> punishment for unacceptable distribution & use.
>>>> On a more subtle note, we even have limited control over how we see
>>>> ourselves. It's hard to change your own self-perception. It's possible, but
>>>> also a core subject of the multi-billion self-help industry.
>>>> I noticed this limitation on control is a lot like how relationships
>>>> work.
>>>> We don't *control* our relationships with others. For some we have no
>>>> choice in, e.g., parents / children, others are a mutually negotiated
>>>> opt-in: girlfriends, employers, teachers.  I can't *make* someone be my
>>>> boss, but I get to accept or reject a job offer, and I can always terminate
>>>> the relationship. But I can't force it to continue if I get fired. We
>>>> influence relationships. We can engender, nurture, or destroy
>>>> relationships, but we don't control them.
>>>> Controlling our identity is similar. We don't control our identity in
>>>> terms of how other people see us. We influence it. And, given the asymmetry
>>>> in information systems, I'm happy to argue that it is right and just and
>>>> meet that people have greater influence over our identity than is currently
>>>> enabled in our digital world. That is, yes, we need more control, but at
>>>> the end of the day, we can never control it completely. Advocating for
>>>> "control" without all the caveats I just described makes it sound like SSI
>>>> is an unreasonable toddler demanding "Mine! Mine!". Certainly, this notion
>>>> of individual control is a big stumbling block to people's perceptions of
>>>> SSI.
>>>> I'm not sure the concise way to reframe the basic definition, but I
>>>> appreciate the distinction Steven Rowat made here. Control is still tricky,
>>>> even if its a notable improvement over "own".
>>>> That said, maybe it's a fine idea for the movement & ideology of SSI to
>>>> advocate for individual empowerment and greater control, allowing the term
>>>> decentralized identity to be more broadly used, independent of the
>>>> political conversation.
>>>> -j
>>>> --
>>>> Joe Andrieu, PMP
>>>>                        joe@legreq.com
>>>>        +1(805)705-8651 <(805)%20705-8651>
>>>> Do what matters.
>>>>                      http://legreq.com
>>>> <http://www.legendaryrequirements.com>
> --
> Adrian Gropper MD
> HELP us fight for the right to control personal health data.
> DONATE: https://patientprivacyrights.org/donate-3/
Kim Hamilton Duffy
CTO & Principal Architect Learning Machine
Co-chair W3C Credentials Community Group

Received on Sunday, 25 November 2018 23:30:08 UTC

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