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The Path to Self-Sovereign Identity - CoinDesk

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Block user Prevent this user from interacting with your repositories and sending you notifications. Block user. Report abuse. Highlights Arctic Code Vault Contributor. Learn how we count contributions. Much as with the Liberty Alliance, final ownership of user-centric identities today remain with the entities that register them. OpenID offers an example.

A user can theoretically register his own OpenID, which he can then use autonomously. However, this takes some technical know-how, so the casual Internet user is more likely to use an OpenID from one public website as a login for another.

If the user selects a site that is trustworthy, he can gain many of the advantages of a self-sovereign identity — but it could be taken away at any time by the registering entity! Facebook Connect appeared a few years after OpenID, leveraging lessons learned, and thus was several times more successful largely due to a better user interface. Unfortunately, Facebook Connect veers even further from the original user-centric ideal of user control. Worse, Facebook has a history of arbitrarily closing accounts, as was seen in their recent real name controversy.

Phase Four: Self-Sovereign Identity individual control across any number of authorities User-centric designs turned centralized identities into interoperable federated identities with centralized control, while also respecting some level of user consent about how to share an identity and with whom. It was an important step toward true user control of identity, but just a step. The next step required user autonomy. Rather than just advocating that users be at the center of the identity process, self-sovereign identity requires that users be the rulers of their own identity.

Since then, the idea of self-sovereign identity has proliferated. Respect Network instead addresses self-sovereign identity as a legal policy; they define contractual rules and principles that members of their network agree to follow. In the last year, self-sovereign identity has also entered the sphere of international policy.

This has largely been driven by the refugee crisis that has beset Europe, which has resulted in many people lacking a recognized identity due to their flight from the state that issued their credentials.

If self-sovereign identity was becoming relevant a few years ago, in light of current international crises, its importance has skyrocketed. With all that said, what is self-sovereign identity exactly? As much as anything, this article is intended to begin a dialogue on that topic. However, I wish to offer a starting position.

Self-sovereign identity is the next step beyond user-centric identity, and that means it begins at the same place — The user must be central to the administration of identity. A self-sovereign identity must also allow ordinary users to make claims, which could include personally identifying information or facts about personal capability or group membership.

It can even contain information about the user that was asserted by other persons or groups. In the creation of a self-sovereign identity, we must be careful to protect the individual.

A self-sovereign identity must defend against financial and other losses, prevent human rights abuses by the powerful and support the rights of the individual to be oneself and to freely associate. Any self-sovereign identity must also meet a series of guiding principles — and these principles actually provide a better, more comprehensive, definition of what self-sovereign identity is. A number of different people have written about the principles of identity. This section draws on all of these ideas to create a group of principles specific to self-sovereign identity.

However, they also recognize that identity can be a double-edged sword — usable for both beneficial and maleficent purposes. Thus, an identity system must balance transparency, fairness, and support of the commons with protection for the individual. Users must have an independent existence. It can never exist wholly in digital form. This must be the kernel of self that is upheld and supported. Users must control their identities. Subject to well-understood and secure algorithms that ensure the continued validity of an identity and its claims, the user is the ultimate authority on their identity.

They should always be able to refer to it, update it or even hide it. They must be able to choose celebrity or privacy as they prefer. Users must have access to their own data. A user must always be able to easily retrieve all the claims and other data within his identity.

There must be no hidden data and no gatekeepers. This does not mean that a user can necessarily modify all the claims associated with his identity, but it does mean they should be aware of them. Systems and algorithms must be transparent. The systems used to administer and operate a network of identities must be open, both in how they function and in how they are managed and updated.

The algorithms should be free, open-source, well-known and as independent as possible of any particular architecture; anyone should be able to examine how they work. Identities must be long-lived. Preferably, identities should last forever, or at least for as long as the user wishes. Though private keys might need to be rotated and data might need to be changed, the identity remains.

The problem is that entities can disappear — and on the Internet, most eventually do. Regimes may change, users may move to different jurisdictions. Identities should be as widely usable as possible.

Identities are of little value if they only work in limited niches. The goal of a 21st century digital identity system is to make identity information widely available, crossing international boundaries to create global identities, without losing user control. Thanks to persistence and autonomy these widely available identities can then become continually available.

Users must agree to the use of their identity. Any identity system is built around sharing that identity and its claims, and an interoperable system increases the amount of sharing that occurs. However, sharing of data must only occur with the consent of the user.

Though other users such as an employer, a credit bureau, or a friend might present claims, the user must still offer consent for them to become valid. Note that this consent might not be interactive, but it must still be deliberate and well-understood.

Disclosure of claims must be minimized. When data is disclosed, that disclosure should involve the minimum amount of data necessary to accomplish the task at hand. For example, if only a minimum age is called for, then the exact age should not be disclosed, and if only an age is requested, then the more precise date of birth should not be disclosed.

This principle can be supported with selective disclosure, range proofs, and other zero-knowledge techniques, but non-correlatibility is still a very hard perhaps impossible task; the best we can do is to use minimalization to support privacy as best as possible.

The rights of users must be protected. When there is a conflict between the needs of the identity network and the rights of individual users, then the network should err on the side of preserving the freedoms and rights of the individuals over the needs of the network. To ensure this, identity authentication must occur through independent algorithms that are censorship-resistant and force-resilient and that are run in a decentralized manner.

I will be at the IIW conference this week, at other conferences this month, and in particular I will be meeting with other identity technologists on 21st and 22nd May in New York after the ID Summit on Digital Identity. These principles will be placed into Github and we hope to collaborate with all those interested in refining them through the workshop, or through Github pull requests from the broader community. The idea of digital identity has been evolving for a few decades now, from centralized identities to federated identities to user-centric identities to self-sovereign identities.

This article seeks to begin a dialogue on that topic, by offering up a definition and a set of principles as a starting point for this new form of user-controlled and persistent identity of the 21st century.

Unknown man image via Shutterstock. The Path to Self-Sovereign Identity. Why do we need this vision now? However, modern society has muddled this concept of identity.

The Path to Self-Sovereign Identity Highlights

The first thing you must have when you decide to invest in bitcoin is a wallet. This wallet helps you to store the private and public keys that enable you to access your funds. by Christopher Allen and Shannon Appelcline Learning Bitcoin from the Command Line is a tutorial for working with Bitcoin (and Lightning) that teaches direct interaction with the servers themselves, as the most robust and secure way to begin cryptocurrency work. Christopher Allen is a standards and identity practice specialist at blockchain development startup Blockstream and a veteran developer who worked on the reference implementation of the SSL Tags:Bitcoin rise fall, Bitcoin price of one, How to earn free bitcoins by playing games, Como ganhar dinheiro bitcoin 2019, Bitcoin restaurants auckland