Decentralized Identifiers

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Full Title or Meme

Any one, any where can create an identifier that will be accepted everywhere.

Context

  • Everyone knows the problem with identities on the internet. They are not under the control of users, who are extremely interested in their own Identity and most want their own Privacy, at least in the original sense of that word. They do not want to be bombarded with constant, unwanted, interruptions.
  • Several efforts are underway as described below, they all seem to be focused on human interactions with Identity and so use terminology and methods that are quite different from the approach to Digital Identifiers that is the focus of this wiki.
  • The Decentralized Identity Foundation has been created to enable "an open source decentralized identity ecosystem for people, organizations, apps, and devices". The have a list of areas of interest[1] that include block-chain and universal discovery which seem to be diametrically opposite of Privacy legislation like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.

Solutions

  • Self-sovereign identities are touted to be the answer to all parties' concerns. [2] The only problem with it that I can see is that no one seems to know exactly what it is or how it might work. MIT has started an open source effort to build something[3] but no one seems to know what.
  • One specific proposal for a Decentralized ID is underway at the W3C Credential Community Group (CC). See that Wiki page for more details.

References

  1. Decentralized Digital Identities and Blockchain perspective from Microsoft
    1. Decentralized Identity Foundation working groups http://identity.foundation/working-groups
    2. Ian Glazer, Why self-sovereign identity will get adopted (and it’s not the reason you probably want) 2018-06-15 https://www.tuesdaynight.org/2018/06/15/why-self-sovereign-identity-will-get-adopted-and-its-not-the-reason-you-probably-want/
    3. Github, Developing General Principles for Sovereign Identity. https://github.com/mitmedialab/SovereignIdentityPrinciples