W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webid@w3.org > May 2014

Re: Should WebIDs denote people or accounts?

From: <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Tue, 20 May 2014 22:08:31 +0200
Cc: Seth Russell <russell.seth@gmail.com>, "Kingsley (Uyi) Idehen" <kidehen@openlinksw.com>, "public-webid@w3.org" <public-webid@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E7363F72-437A-48A4-9929-09DF7C562298@bblfish.net>
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>

On 20 May 2014, at 21:57, Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org> wrote:

> On 05/20/2014 03:45 PM, Seth Russell wrote:
>> 
>> On Tue, May 20, 2014 at 12:30 PM, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com> wrote:
>> Alternative Name
>> 
>> Ok.  except a Persona name is not an "*Alternative* Name".   If i go on the web as Seth or I choose to go on the web as Patty, "Seth" is not a alternative name           for "Patty".   Were that to become true in the linked data world, then i would have been outed by the CyberMonster :(
>> 
> 
> FWIW, my sense is the problem manifests even without thinking about certs -- it's there as soon as the user says "that's me!" about a WebID, and systems understand that WebID to denote a human being, instead of a persona.
> 
> Today my wild idea for the easiest fix would be to make two subclasses of foaf:Person, perhaps named foaf:Persona and foaf:Human.  Then the WebID can still denote a Person, and it's clear that might be a Persona or it might be a Human.  
> 
> It's a bit odd, but consider http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood .  (They use the term "natural person" where I say "human".)   Given this idea that the class Person and the class Human are not the same, maybe a more specific class is needed when talking about instances of Homo Sapiens.  And if we're going to do that change, we can take advantage of it to solve this whole WebID issue.    Convenient, eh?

yes, or since WebID is defined in terms of foaf:Agent not foaf:Person you could have a subclass of foaf:Agent named foaf:Persona .

> 
> The problem with this solution is that non-lawyers laugh (and often get angry) at the idea of Corporations being People.

But I don't think they'd have problems with Corporations being Agents ( in the philosophical sense of "that which acts with intention" ),
or with the notions of Actors, which may be a better term. ( I wonder if actor-network theory, which I know little of, would help here )

> 
>        -- Sandro
> 

Social Web Architect
http://bblfish.net/


Received on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 20:09:05 UTC

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