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Re: The "self-sovereign" problem (was: The SSI protocols challenge)

From: Adrian Gropper <agropper@healthurl.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2021 10:41:55 -0400
Message-ID: <CANYRo8gk+NdSRE7WowkVfW2Bs7Y+O9niW6BML_uZ1xVF42=zMg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: W3C Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>
+1 Manu, no sense in tormenting the beast. But, as with COVID vaccines,
there's something new here. So we're seeing folks use, "Distributed
Identity" or worse, spread fear about "Digital Identity". VCs and DIDs, as
names, do not address identity.

I guess your suggestion is to avoid defining identity in any particular
way. That could work.


On Mon, Mar 22, 2021 at 9:31 AM Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>

> On 3/21/21 11:57 PM, Adrian Gropper wrote:
> > Are we, as a community, being shy in using self-sovereign to describe
> our
> > perspective?
> My response below is for people that feel like the question above has an
> easy
> answer. I expect the following to be misconstrued or quoted out of context,
> which is sad, but here goes; everything below is said without any value
> judgements.
> Remember that not all nations and people of the world view
> "self-sovereign" as
> a purely positive thing. I'm not shy about using it, just very careful, and
> tend to avoid it as it tends to distract focused conversations.
> To speak to at least three overly-broad categories, self-sovereign is not
> viewed as an entirely positive thing among:
> 1. Authoritarian-leaning groups.
> 2. Non-authoritarian sovereign governments.
> 3. Non-western societies where the importance of the
>    individual is not placed above the importance
>    of the community.
> I don't think that anyone is here to support #1 above. #2 and #3 are why I
> tend to be careful about using the word "self-sovereign". It's useful when
> speaking to others that understand the nuance. It can be thoroughly
> confusing
> or shut down conversations with those that don't... and even when educated
> about the nuances, the message doesn't land well with the latter two
> groups.
> I end up doing far more damage control when the word "self-sovereign" is
> included than if I just stick to "verifiable credentials and decentralized
> identifiers".
> -- manu
> --
> Manu Sporny - https://www.linkedin.com/in/manusporny/
> Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> blog: Veres One Decentralized Identifier Blockchain Launches
> https://tinyurl.com/veres-one-launches
Received on Monday, 22 March 2021 14:42:20 UTC

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