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Re: Self-Sovereign Identity and Guardianship in Practice - Exploring the gap between legal and technical perspectives

From: Christopher Allen <ChristopherA@lifewithalacrity.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2023 18:19:46 -0800
Message-ID: <CACrqygBjSOkSxOvMeVTSEdoyHwR2k8FsEeGBk1QiE3Vz_wevgg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Adrian Gropper <agropper@healthurl.com>
Cc: "Joosten, H.J.M. (Rieks)" <rieks.joosten@tno.nl>, "public-credentials (public-credentials@w3.org)" <public-credentials@w3.org>
Guardianship is closely related to Agency Law, for which there is a start
of a legal basis for under Wyoming law.

I have an article on this topic that reframes my 10 Self-Sovereign Identity
principles under Agency Law, and adds 5 duties & responsibilities:



“For Self-Sovereign Identity (aka #SSI) to truly achieve international
success, it needs to not just be embraced by the technological sector, but
also to have a basis under law. Wyoming now offers the first definition of
personal digital identity in the United States as “the intangible digital
representation of, by and for a natural person, over which he has principal
authority and through which he intentionally communicates or acts.

By saying that a Principal has the ultimate authority to control their
digital identity, then that Principal may then delegate their authority
under existing fiduciary Laws of Agency and Custom. Wyoming’s digital
identity law is the first example of legislation that focuses on using
these laws in this way, rather than under Property Law.

Principal Authority focuses not just on a single person’s authority to act
digitally, but also on their ability to delegate to and require duties from
other entities. In other words, these peer-to-peer relationships works
within the context of a state who recognizes the concept of Principal
Authority. Thus the use of Principal Authority to empower Self-Sovereign
Identity provides a legal foothold for many of the original 10 #SSI
principles. It also suggests five additional duties that are generally
defined under the Laws of Agency to be due from agents to Principals.

Wyoming’s definition of personal digital identity helps us to lay more
foundation for self-sovereign identity, but it’s still just a starting
point. There may be other legal elements that can support this new
definition of personal digital identity. These possibilities need to be
studied. The Digital Identity subcommittee in Wyoming will continue to work
with the state legislature, and welcomes discussions with other states and


*The Duties of Self-Sovereign Agents*Permalink

*The idea of Principal Authority itself suggests additional duties that
were not included on the original list of principles of self-sovereign
identity, but which are generally defined in the Laws of Agency to be due
from agents to Principals.*

   1. *Specificity.* An Agent will use Principal Authority to serve
      specific tasks as instructed by the Principal, or as required by Custom,
      and do nothing more with an identity.
      2. *Responsibility.* An agent will serve those tasks with reasonable
      care and skill, with due diligence, and without further delegation.
      3. *Representation.* An agent will act in the best interests of the
      Principal, without secret profit, and will not take on other
      responsibilities that might conflict with that.
      4. *Fidelity.* An agent will serve those tasks in good faith.
      5. *Disclosure.* An agent will maintain accounts and report their
      actions back to the Principal.

*Agent duties say that agents will be trustworthy in their use of your
identity. These duties are more likely to implicitly be a part of any
legislation that was built atop the Laws of Agency.*

-- Christopher Allen
Received on Wednesday, 1 March 2023 02:20:36 UTC

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