I wrote a series of posts with Glen Weyl and Lucas Geiger about Decentralized Social Data. We followed up with another post on Intersectional Social Data that I invite you to read if you are interested.
So today the news came out Nuggets is a “leader” amongst the companies doing Self-Sovereign identity according to One World Identity.
The thing is they aren’t doing Self-Sovereign Identity.
For starters they haven’t actively participated in any of the community forums either online or offline.
They are doing global identity lockin theater. Or to put it another way I keep hearing about “If only everyone had one identity on our system everything would will work out for everyone”. News flash …this isn’t a sensible path forward.
Bonus they have a token.
I took the liberty of reading their white paper. It’s cute…but no where in there is there anything about Decentralized Identifier – the standard at the W3C nor Verifiable Credentials also at the W3C.
Its SSI white washing at its finest and to see OWI is enabling this kind of thing is just kinda sad. I thought their analysts were better then that. If they want to be the New Burton Group they need to up their game a bit. I hope they can improve there work going ahead and stop enabling SSI white washing.
In Feb 2018 an organization surfaced with the URL Decentralized.id posing as a real organization called the DID Foundation and directly leveraging language from the real organizations actually working on Decentralized Identity. They even were offering DID Tokens. I wrote a whole post about it…
Unfortunately we are in a similar but perhaps more pernicious situation today. An organization has surfaced called the DID Alliance claiming to be working on solving identity issues in a decentralized way by building a Global Association for Digital Identity and that this specification will be avaliable by the end of 2020! To quote their press release…
Think of GADI as the ICANN of personal identity,” says GADI visionary and DID Alliance co-founder Ramesh Kesanupalli. “ICANN enables a global internet where every address is unique and authentic. Similarly, GADI will assure verifiable, authorized identity for every individual on the globe, whether online or in physical world applications.”
They want to make sure everyone just has “one” identity – this goes totally against what we are working on. Identity is not “one” network address for people – that they can use ‘everywhere’ and be trusted. Identity is way to complicated for that to be true and that sort of system would be terrifyingly invasive of people’s privacy.
They make more incorrect statements on their website.
The DID Alliance is a global organization dedicated to developing and maintaining the new standards for decentralized identity.
No one actually working on the open standards in this space has really heard of them. To be fair the chair of the Sovrin board went to a meeting with them last week and some how Sovrin became a founding member of the Alliance!! – this is not trustworthy behavior.
What are the real foundations, organizations and communities actually working on decentralized identity?
There are a bunch standards and coding efforts going on in the field of decentralized identity technology – they are centered on
The W3C Credentials Community Group – its subgroups and official standards working groups (DID – Decentralized Identifier, Verifiable Credentials + a ledger managed via a community process there Veres.One.
The Decentralized Identity Foundation with quite a few active working groups + two different DID methods (SideTree – Ion – BTCR and SideTree Element-Etherum) these are in regular dialoguewith the W3C work.
The Sovrin Foundation and Hyperledger has several coding projects (Aries, Ursa and Indie) doing work also in dialogue actively with the Decentralized Identity Foundation and W3C efforts.
We all gather at the Internet Identity Workshop twice a year. You can buy my book if you want to really get up to speed – A Comprehensive Guide to Self-Sovereign Identity.
Its a little complex but it is a network of work and communities all actively making real decentralized identity happen. It is very open and very active. Its super real. All of the companies named as the so-called members of the DID Alliance are welcome to join us.
Oh and one final like “this is never going to fly” point. The photo on their website is a bunch of men making fist pumps?
Zero women. No people from the global south? There is no developement of large scale identity systems without the involvement of women (and not just white women), people of color and real leaders from the global south.
Not about us without us!
(psst this applies to all of the above organizations working for realz on decentralized identity)
Buy the book if you are confused about this technology – its written for C-Level executives. 🙂
Here are relevant links for my SIBOS talk on Monday the 23 of September, 2019
Internet Identity Workshop, October 1-2, 2019, April 27-29, 2020 and October 20-22, 2020.
History of Identity documents and systems. I recommend Mawaki Chango’s Becoming Artifacts.
My report on Challenges with NPE identity including corporation.
A starting point to look at Data Banking as an opportunity via the MyData community.
Understanding Decentralized Identifiers and how they work – My book A Comprehensive Guide to Self Sovereign Identity.
Book Standards: Recipes for Reality
British Columbia’s work to build out a business registry.
Ontario’s Business registry architeture
Alberta Credentials Ecosystem
Silicon Valley Innovation Program: Preventing Forgery and Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licenses
Taxonomic Approach to Blockchain Identity Technology draft by NIST
Known Traveler report by WEF – announcement with the Government of the Netherlands about their project.
Trust – my article the Trouble with Trust and the Case for Accountability Frameworks
Pan Canadian Trust Framework work.
A series of Posts I collaborated on with Glen Weyl has also gone live on the Wireline & Radical Exchange Blogs.
Motivating the Case for Decentralized Social Identity: Part One
Motivating the Case for Decentralized Social Identity: Part Two
Motivating the Case for Decentralized Social Identity: Part Three