Identy WG report on PDS/IdH/EDV call Dec 6, 2019

Vipin Bharathan

Hi all,

What does the subject line mean?

Let me try expanding it.
PDS= Personal Data Store
IdH=Identity Hub
EDV=Encrypted Data Vault

All relate to a similar concept- Data (and claims) about a subject stored in an adequately protected location; under distributed control (includes delegation) to be used in various contexts.

What this meeting was about?
Many bodies (standards or implementation or both) are working on parallel problems about PDS/idH/EDV. In order not to diverge too much and create conflicting and competing standards and implementation, these parties (DiF, W3C, Solid, Aries/Indy, other experts) are hammering out a consensus(that word again) about where to house the standardization and implementation efforts. About 60 people were involved in the calls.

What did they achieve so far?
  1.  The agreed to work together
  2.  They will house the calls in DiF, which will be open to the entire community (not just to paying members of DiF)
  3.  DiF will also house the reference implementation and test suites. Reference does not imply preferred.
  4.  Since this is about the data storage, all questions on the user-facing front end as well as schemas for storage and the communication between the various parties are out of scope. However, they will support already existing efforts in these areas.
  5. The IPR (Intellectual Property Rights)  starts with the agreement in W3C Community groups (that anyone can join), thus the openness. There are some questions to be answered about the IPR in DiF which is housed under a different IPR regime.
When I used the word hammering, I meant it almost literally. It is great to witness compromise; especially for those of us who are outside the windows looking in.

What is missing?
The IPR stuff- the ED of DiF (Rouven Heck) will see how the DiF IPR can be integrated to the W3C CG IPR and how everyone can work together. There are documents that can bootstrap the effort, implementation of certain components exist. All of these will feed into the effort.

Why is it relevant to the Identity WG and Blockchains?
Since this is about the idea of how data repositories on Identity are specified and implemented, this falls under IDWG. Blockchains enter in two ways- for peer to peer access to the truth about the repository; to be used as the identity solution for other use cases. Right now we are interested parties, not direct participants. Any individual or enterprise can join the new effort.

What is in the short term for us, the Identity WG?
We have worked closely with the Indy/Aries community; and hosted presentations on related topics; including the DiF/Aries paper on HUBS vs wallets.
This Wednesday (the 11th) we will have a presentation from Darrell O'Donnell on digital wallets. Which are the means with which interaction with the repository will happen.
We had presentations on the Digital Locker in India (which is similar to a personal wallet). This is already in production with a billion plus users. Control and governance of this is not as distributed as a democracy deserves; there are steps being taken to get more privacy and freedom from surveillance on this platform.

Comments and responses are welcome...

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