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Full Title or Meme

In this wiki the common term for a Verifier is a Relying Party. The distinction made here is that the Verifier is a collection of roles, while the Relying Party, the Data Controller and the Data Processor are real-world objects, that is, each is a named Entity.

What may be confusing is that some standards in the IETF (like RFC 9334) use the term Verifier for an Entity that is a remote service provider distinct from the Relying Party.


  • Verification of identity is typically requited for a grant of access to a physical location or grant of privilege, for example to fish or to drive on public roads.
  • Context is situational and dependent on the use case. The particular access requirements will determine whether any identity presentation is sufficient to grant access.
  • This particular page is focused on entities called holders that have a collection of credentials that bind attributes to them and assures that the entity presenting them is the holder.
  • The traditional name for an entity that needs validated data is a Relying Party. A Verifier may be a Relying Party or only a process that performs a function for one.
  • For the purposes of the GDPR the Relying Party may be considered to be the Data Controller.
  • Verification is the process for determining whether or not an applicant fulfills the requirements or specifications established - a definition derived from the MITRE Systems Engineering Guide.[1]
  • Functionality is an active feature of an Identification process. Some functionality, like Proof of Presence can reside in a variety of entities depending on the use case.


  • The term Verifier could be limited to just the role played by any Entity in assuring that the data received meets its own criteria for acceptance.
  • Some verticals, like finance and health, are highly regulated and typically require that their data controllers are certified for conformance with very restrictive regulations. Others have lighter regulation like the US Federal Trade commission.
  • In all cases the verifier will be given a set of policies that they apply to Claimants seeking access. In a world where policies can change will little notice, it behooves the Verifier to create a Policy-Based Access Control applications that does not require reprogramming of the application to meet changing policies.


The protection of release of holder attributes or behaviors is called Privacy in this page.

  • The purpose for which holder data attributes are required
  • The behaviors of the holder with the Relying Party that are retained by the Relying Party shall be explained to the holder.

Data Hoarders

These are Enterprises that collect vast amount of people's data as a part of their very existence. Many of them have proven to have very poor security.

  • Lexus/Nexus
  • Credit Agencies
  • Internal Government security Agencies, like the US DHS in "The DHS Bought a ‘Shocking Amount’ of Phone-Tracking Data"[2]
    FOR YEARS, PEOPLE have wondered not if, but how much, the Department of Homeland Security accesses mobile location data to monitor US citizens. The week of 2022-07-28, the American Civil Liberties Union released thousands of heavily redacted pages of documents that provide a “glimpse” of how DHS agencies came to leverage “a shocking amount” of location data, apparently purchasing data without following proper protocols to ensure they had the authority to do so.


Proposed list of requirements on a Verifier.

  1. The Verifier SHALL be clear what purpose is being served on behalf of the Relying Party and who the Relying Party is.
  2. The purpose SHALL have a standardized list of attributes, behaviors and functionality that is appropriate to the context.
  3. The request for presentation of proofs SHALL indicate the Data Controller and any Data Process that sees user private data.
  4. Proof of Presence is typically required in Identity Verification. The original Driver's License Card enabled this function by virtue of a facial image with complex card physical indications. This function may be provided by manual or automated image validation for mobile identity credential verification.
  5. The Wallet is an application that runs on the holder's smart phone. It is responsible for keeping the user data secure.
  6. The wallet may be the named originator of signed statements about the security of the data or the identity of the holder. This is required for automated high assurance Proof of Presence.

Real-world Entities:

  1. Holder = a real-world entity that has a collection of centennials in a digital format contained in a digital wallet.
  2. Data Controller = a real-world entity that has the purpose for collecting data from the holder.
  3. Data Processor = a real-world entity that is in any part of the data flow and acts on behalf of the Data Controller.

For this wiki we break the Verifier into two roles from SAML:

  1. PDP = policy definition point may act as a Credential Aggregation process that accepts a collection of sources and produces a ticket for the holder that still needs to be bound to the person presenting the ticket.
  2. PEP = policy enforcement point accepts sources of attributes and assures that they presenter is the holder.



  1. MITRE
  2. Ashley Belanger, The DHS Bought a ‘Shocking Amount’ of Phone-Tracking Data Wired (2022-07-28)