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RE: Technical Review of WebAppSec Credential Management API [2/3] (was Re: Overlap with Credentials/Web Payments CG)

From: Crispin Cowan <crispin@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 02:25:59 +0000
To: Brad Hill <hillbrad@gmail.com>, "public-webappsec@w3.org" <public-webappsec@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BN3PR0301MB1220910E7E3556C5689BB11EBDE40@BN3PR0301MB1220.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
Credentials and Identities are never the same thing, and getting them confused leads to incredible pain:

·        Identity: who you are. GUIDs, full names like John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, and phone numbers are identifiers.

·        Credential: a proof that you are who you are. Passwords, private keys, shared symmetric keys, OTPs, and the shape of those metal key things in your pocket are credentials.

·        Tragedy: that much of America treated Social Security Numbers (SSNs) as credentials rather than identifiers. Duh ☹

From: Brad Hill [mailto:hillbrad@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 7:01 PM
To: public-webappsec@w3.org
Subject: Re: Technical Review of WebAppSec Credential Management API [2/3] (was Re: Overlap with Credentials/Web Payments CG)

With <hat=individual>, regarding a suggestion I've seen to change what is being stored/managed from "credential" to "identity": -1

If there is a word that is even more overloaded, fraught with complexity, dense with both technical and lay meaning, and with a history of grandiose attempts to boil the ocean, than the word "Credential", that word is "Identity".

Please, let us not use that word.  My bank account is not an identity. My email address is not an identity.  The means by which I authenticate to them are not identities, and their relationship to each other and my actual identity/identities are many-to-many.

If the proposal on the table at rechartering had been for an "identity manager" I would have leapt out of my chair to keep this group out of that particular tar pit.

In a similar vein, I've filed an issue suggesting changing the name of the "avatar" attribute to "icon" to avoid any connotations of identity.

-Brad Hill

Received on Thursday, 16 April 2015 02:26:28 UTC

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