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Re: Proposal for Authorization in VC HTTP API

From: Alan Karp <alanhkarp@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2021 12:36:50 -0700
Message-ID: <CANpA1Z1AD_38sx70qFD4E8S76y1iTzYr3wPqqJy8TR+k6Le50Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: "W3C Credentials CG (Public List)" <public-credentials@w3.org>
On Sun, Aug 22, 2021 at 7:13 AM Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
wrote:

"yes, that's the john smith we know" is authentication


There is a subtle but important point most applicable when authentication
is not in person.  Because people can and do share credentials, we can't
know who is making the request, only who is responsible for who is making
the request.  So, I would instead say

"yes, john smith is who we will hold responsible" is authentication.


--------------
Alan Karp


On Sun, Aug 22, 2021 at 7:13 AM Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
wrote:

> On 8/21/21 7:26 PM, steve capell wrote:
> > * I'm unclear about which VC-API interactions should require
> authorisation
> > and which should not.
>
> There is clarity on most, but not all, of the endpoints we have defined so
> far
> wrt. authorization. There is a column here marked "Authorization
> Required?":
>
>
> https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hlevKRxCXsJBWvJTkL30nZVp8cpF26aY3PJqzuHtIZE/edit#gid=0
>
> To be clear, we're talking exclusively about authorization (not
> authentication, e.g., DIDAuth -- that's out of scope).
>
> > * I can imagine that an issuer will certainly want to authorise a
> subject
> > that is requesting a VC.  "yes, that's the john smith we know, here's
> your
> > digital drivers license"
>
> The term I believe you meant to use was "authenticate", because
> "authorization" is subtly orthogonal. So, let's make sure we're talking
> about
> the same thing first:
>
> https://stackoverflow.com/a/6556548
>
> "yes, that's the john smith we know" is authentication
>
> "and given that it's the john smith we know, he is authorized to receive a
> digital driver's license" is authorization.
>
> "here's your digital drivers license" presumes some sort of authorization
> took
> place. Providing the digital drivers license happens AFTER authorization
> was
> successful.
>
> > * But I cant imagine why or how a verifier will want to authorise John
> > when he presents his license as proof of age in a bottle shop because
> > there's very unlikely to have been any a-priori registration of either
> john
> > or his chosen system to the bottle shop system. Instead I'd expect an
> > anonymous access "yes, that's a valid drivers license and, yes, the photo
> > on it looks like you sir, here's your vodka".
>
> Again, "yes, that's a valid drivers license and, yes, the photo on it looks
> like you sir" is authentication.
>
> "and given that you're above the age of ??, you are allowed to purchase
> alcohol" is authorization.
>
> "here's your vodka" presumes some sort of authorization took place.
>
> You're not far off, but we do need to make sure we're very clear about what
> we're talking about "authorization", and what's not necessarily the focus
> of
> the current discussion "authentication".
>
> > would it be possible to see a diagram of VC-API interactions with some
> > indication of which require auth and which dont?
>
> Column G here:
>
>
> https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hlevKRxCXsJBWvJTkL30nZVp8cpF26aY3PJqzuHtIZE/edit#gid=0
>
> The Use Cases team is working on some more detailed data flow diagrams to
> elaborate upon the matter further. I expect we're several weeks of from
> those
> being done.
>
> Did that help, Steve?
>
> -- manu
>
> --
> Manu Sporny - https://www.linkedin.com/in/manusporny/
> Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> News: Digital Bazaar Announces New Case Studies (2021)
> https://www.digitalbazaar.com/
>
>
>
Received on Sunday, 22 August 2021 19:37:16 UTC

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