Digital Guardianship

From IIW
Revision as of 17:27, 1 May 2018 by Nobnatu (talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Digital Guardianship

Wednesday 3J

Convener: Peter Simpson, Bryan Pon, Drummond Reed

Notes-taker(s): Drummond Reed

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

This session was given by three trustees of the Sovrin Foundation:

Peter Simpson, Founder and Executive Director of iRespond

Bryan Pon, Principle Researcher at Caribou Digital and Chair of the Sovrin Identity for All Council

Drummond Reed, Chief Trust Officer at Evernym and Chair of the Sovrin Trust Framework Working Group

The session started by recapitulating the basic concepts of self-sovereign identity (SSI) from the SSI 101 and 102 sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, especially the roles of Issuers, Holders (Identity Owners), and Verifiers of digital credentials.

Then Drummond explained the dilemma that some classes of Identity Owners, such as infants, the elderly, refugees, and those without Internet devices or access, require the services of a guardian in order to wield a self-sovereign identity. See the Sovrin Glossary and Sovrin Trust Framework for specific definitions and examples. See slides 53-62 of the first link below for visual diagrams of the guardian role.

Peter then explained that very often when a guardian is needed, so too is a method of identification of the Identity Owner that does not depend on a local device. This is the role of a biometric service provider (BSP). See the Sovrin Glossary and Sovrin Trust Framework for specific definitions and examples. See slide 61 of the first link below for a visual diagram of the BSP role. 

We had a good discussion about how a BSP works and still provides adequate control and privacy protection to identity owners by virtue of being separate from a guardian.

Bryan then led a discussion around the many questions and challenges of digital guardianship and how it is a crucial concept the work of his Identity for All Council at the Sovrin Foundation.


  1. IIW Introduction to Self-Sovereign Identity
  2. The Sovrin Glossary
  3. The Sovrin Trust Framework