In an insightful introduction to self-sovereign identity (SSI) from 2016, Christopher Allen notes that online identity has progressed through four broad stages:
- Centralized identity — administrative control by a single authority or hierarchy
- Federated identity — administrative control by multiple, federated authorities
- User-centric identity — individual or administrative control across multiple authorities without requiring a federation
- Self-sovereign identity — individual control across any number of authorities.
I won't expand on these further here as that information is only a click away, but I will quote Christopher from his section on defining self-sovereign identity. While observing a lack of consensus, he notes:
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. That requires not just the interoperability of a user’s identity across multiple locations, with the user’s consent, but also true user control of that digital identity, creating user autonomy.
Following AKASHA's participation at the Rebooting Web of Trust meeting in Barcelona last month, I was delighted to accept an invitation from Alex Preukschat to host a webinar on the topic of digital identity for SSImeetup.org. Obviously, I framed the presentation in the context of AKASHA's purpose, and I hope it proved thought provoking at least and, fingers crossed, an opportunity to catalyse some deep co-operation. We need it.
Please get in touch if you want to work together on this most fundamental and existentially critical challenge, or just chew the cud on what that might entail.