Self sovereign identity use cases

Niels van Dijk
TrackTrack 3
DescriptionUsing Federated Identity Management (FIM), the R&E community has over the years built a secure and trusted infrastructure for authentication and authorization that spans the globe. Recently, a new paradigm has emerged in the identity ecosystem: Self-Sovereign Identity.
Core premise of Self-Sovereign Identity, or SSI, is that the user is directly responsible for, and in control of their own personal data. To enable the flow of information, a user will first collect data from an authoritative source, e.g. an institution. This data is put under user control, in a so-called ‘wallet’. Next, when the user needs access to a service, the service may ask the user to provide proof of ownership of certain credentials, either to establish the user identity, or to determine proper authorization. A data registry, which may be implemented as a distributed ledger, is used by all parties involved to establish the trust in the transactions.

SSI may provide our sector with interesting opportunities, especially in areas like life-long learning and researcher identity. It may also help improve engaging with other sectors, either to provide or consume credentials in a much easier fashion. Leverage SSI to lower the ‘cost’ of establishing trust, especially when engaging with the long tail may be yet another use case. SSI does however also come with various challenges, both technical as well as from an organisational and legal perspective.

After briefly introducing the core concepts of SSI, this talk will present three SSI use cases as these were explored in the GÉANT Trust and Identity Incubator: eduID, Diplomas and micro-credentials and Researcher ID.
The talk will discuss for each of these the opportunities, compare them to existing FIM solutions, discuss the business case, but also list the challenges that exist in making these scenarios become reality.

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