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RE: Identifiers in Verifiable Credentials

From: Joosten, H.J.M. (Rieks) <rieks.joosten@tno.nl>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2021 05:45:39 +0000
To: Kerri Lemoie <klemoie@concentricsky.com>, W3C Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <f84c152fe82744df8b8a353e1fb95adb@tno.nl>
Let me start by saying that I'm not familiar with the EDU stuff. But the issue you refer to can be interpreted much more generically. According to RFC3986<https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/rfc3986#section-1.1>, page 5, “an identifier embodies the information required to distinguish what is being identified from all other things within its scope of identification”, and similar elaborations can be found in the eSSIF-Lab text<https://essif-lab.pages.grnet.gr/framework/docs/terms/identifier> on identifiers.



So a text, e.g. an id property can only qualify as an identifier if there somehow is a ‘scope of identification’. For example, 'B52' in the scope of a specific airport may refer to a gate, while in the scope of airplane manufacturers it refers to a kind of bomber, etc. So perhaps you might want to retain the ‘hosted URL’, not for doing something with it (verification), but simply as an identifier for a ‘scope of identification’ (which itself would need a scope, which might be VC-EDU, OpenBadges, some standard-yet-to-come, or …).



Rieks



-----Original Message-----
From: Kerri Lemoie <klemoie@concentricsky.com>
Sent: zondag 6 juni 2021 23:58
To: W3C Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
Subject: Identifiers in Verifiable Credentials



Hello all,



I have a question about identifiers in verifiable credentials. The documentation states:



"When expressing statements about a specific thing, such as a person, product, or organization, it is often useful to use some kind of identifier so that others can express statements about the same thing. This specification defines the optional id property for such identifiers. The id property is intended to unambiguously refer to an object, such as a person, product, or organization. Using the id property allows for the expression of statements about specific things in the verifiable credential."





In the credentialSubject property it seems clear that the id can represent the subject that the claim is about but I’m not clear on the uses for the optional id in the vc assertion. It would be helpful to learn about some examples or suggested uses.



For some context: in VC-EDU, we’re discussing Open Badges as VCs. Open Badges have historically mostly been verified via issuer hosted URLs.  One of the reasons to move away from hosted URLs is to remove the dependence on the issuer for verification. However, there may continue to be use cases for when an Open Badge should still be verified through its hosted url.



Thanks,



Kerri




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