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

From: Michael Herman (Trusted Digital Web) <mwherman@parallelspace.net>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2021 16:14:01 +0000
To: sankarshan <sankarshan@dhiway.com>, "public-credentials@w3.org" <public-credentials@w3.org>
CC: "W3C Credentials CG (Public List)" <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <MWHPR1301MB209496685557DB34447ED3B9C3649@MWHPR1301MB2094.namprd13.prod.outlook.com>
I generally agree with the positioning (it’s more of a positioning statement than an operational definition).

The one phrase that I do have problems with is:

Sovereignty implies that individuals are equal among peers

In general, this is not true and it certainly is not implied by the common definitions of Sovereignty nor Self-Sovereignty. In fact, the general meaning of sovereignty is the exact the opposite.


From: sankarshan <sankarshan@dhiway.com>
Sent: March 23, 2021 7:50 AM
To: public-credentials@w3.org
Cc: W3C Credentials CG (Public List) <public-credentials@w3.org>
Subject: Re: The "self-sovereign" problem (was: The SSI protocols challenge)

On Tue, 23 Mar 2021 at 18:40, Michael Herman (Trusted Digital Web) <mwherman@parallelspace.net<mailto:mwherman@parallelspace.net>> wrote:
RE: "Decentralized identity" is a *better* choice. Others use "self-asserted," I think this has some of the same socio-cultural issues that "Self-sovereign" has.

  1.  QUESTION: Why is there this pervasive (pandemic?) of thinking spreading across so many of our communities (CCG, SF, ToIP, etc.) about giving in to this type of authoritarian, centralizationist thinking?
Why are people giving up on self-sovereignty in such large numbers?
Reference: https://hyperonomy.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/model-2c.-social-evolution-self-sovereignty-political-spectrum-1.png

The representation such as the above often create an all-or-nothing inference on the topic of SSI. It feels appropriate to cite a recently published work Doerk, Adrian. (2020). The growth factors of self-sovereign identity solutions in Europe. 10.6084/m9.figshare.14182586. and especially

We use the terminology of self-sovereign identity for describing a concept of giving individuals or organizations control over their digital identity. The identity resides with the identity subject in question, who is central to its administration. Sovereignty implies that individuals are equal among peers and are not administered by a central authority. This doesn't mean that individuals can suddenly issue themselves a new passport. Instead it means that individuals have control over how their personal data is shared and used. Moreover, individuals can now choose whether they would like to reveal their personal data and also which kind of data they would like to share in the event of a transaction or interaction. Through the use of cryptographic proofs SSI enables verifiability for all involved parties.
Received on Tuesday, 23 March 2021 16:14:18 UTC

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