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Re: A Somewhat Critical View of SOP (Same Origin Policy)

From: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2015 11:36:40 +0100
Cc: Dave Longley <dlongley@digitalbazaar.com>, Martin Paljak <martin.paljak@ria.ee>, public-web-security@w3.org
Message-Id: <C97A6D87-940E-485A-BCAF-AAA40DAB7653@w3.org>
To: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>

> On 25 Sep 2015, at 11:08, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 25 September 2015 at 11:38, Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org <mailto:dsr@w3.org>> wrote:
>> On 24 Sep 2015, at 22:02, Dave Longley <dlongley@digitalbazaar.com <mailto:dlongley@digitalbazaar.com>> wrote:
>> We also need to be careful about the privacy implications here. To
>> explain this I'm going to lay out some quick terminology for a
>> user-centric system.
>> In the Credentials CG work, we have four main parties that are involved
>> in a "credentials ecosystem". Here's a brief overview:
>> 1. Users - entities about which claims are made
>> 2. Issuers - services that make claims
>> 3. IdPs - services that aggregate claims on behalf of Users
>> 4. Consumers - services that request and make use of claims
>> Now, regarding privacy, it would be ideal if a User could interact with
>> Consumers without Issuers or IdPs being made aware of this fact. If
>> information is going to be transferred "server-to-server", this property
>> should be preserved.
> A further desirable property would be that the identifiers used between the User and Consumer are short lived (i.e. session based), to minimise loss of privacy across sessions or across Consumers.
> There are times when you would certainly wish to use short lived identifiers, for example, when the user does not want to be tracked.  But just as in the real world, there are times when the user will have a relationship with the consumer, so that the experience can be personalized to an individual's tastes.  If we consider the real world, both cases are quite common.


However, even where the user and consumer have a long lasting relationship, there is no need for credentials to be issued against a long lasting identifier.  For instance, the user/device can be authenticated in respect to a session id as being the same user/device that registered an account. The consumer can bind that account to a lasting identity, i.e. a set of attributes associated with the account. This account is set up with the consent of the user as part of the relationship with the consumer.

By expressing credentials in terms of the session identifier and not the account, should the credentials be passed to another party it is much harder to tie them to particular users.  This is analogous to the design criteria for W3C web platform APIs where we aim to minimise privacy related information leakage through that API.

There will be a case for credentials for long lived identifiers, e.g. electronic passports, but this doesn’t mean that we should encourage them for every day needs.

   Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org <mailto:dsr@w3.org>>

Received on Friday, 25 September 2015 10:36:55 UTC

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