The Coms Group: About Disposable Identities, a Community Statement

Submitted on Fri, 04/17/2020 - 10:37

About Disposable Identities

The Disposable ID acts as a pseudonymous ID and consent, accompanying every data exchange and hardcoding the values of the GDPR.

Foundation io,  Disposable Identity as a Service

As you learnt to read and write with ABC; society as we know it - what we accept as normal  - is built according to rules expressed primarily through language.  Rules written down through generations and within institutions established in the age of the book, yet with gatekeepers controlling the pace and content, defining the role that

Education and free expression play a strong role in building our understanding of both the language and the process whereby social rules of governance and control are set and revised.

In this Internet age, AI, end-to-end encryption, digital ledgers, blockchains and IoT have become the new tech business, and global gatekeepers face an unprecedented power shift. More cooperation with individuals and self-organising groups is necessary.  The online balance between centralisation and decentralisation,   anonymity, privacy and accountability is changing the tenets of internet governance.  Our concern centers on the very notion of ‘identity’ and ‘control’. 

An SSI (Self Sovereign Identity) solution has  the potential to spin off hundreds of temporary, local, and purpose-only smart contracts (identities+data) with specific other parties. A new  approach to the ownership of personal data is the core principle behind Disposable IDs. Products and services based on it allow proving ownership or allowing shareholding in a contract at the receiving end  - the point where ultimately the most relevance and value is generated. Yet from that endpoint, involvement cannot be traced back to its more personal origin, without permission and in full compliance with the GDPR. When data exchanges are accompanied by a GDPR consent, encoded as a Verifiable Credential, then the legitimate use of that data can be proven. Anyone unable to provide this proof is in breach of GDPR law.

 

Purpose & Scope of Disposable Identities Community

A) Who we are: As proactive citizens, we are creating a transparent trust-based infrastructure based on fundamental values of privacy and autonomy represented by the approach of Disposable IDs.

B) What drives us: The ethical values of empowered citizens, privacy, equality and autonomy are reflected in the way we work - a self-organised transparent community, geographically dispersed, brought together by digital technology and driven by the same core values. Laying the groundwork for a society where people have control over the way they disclose aspects of themselves, their daily lives and their relationships, with interacting with their peers or when coordinating with institutional and commercial parties. A light form of organisation with a Steering Group will ensure the transfer of open source methodologies and code into a not-for-profit foundation (Stichting, NPO) to ensure that they remain available to our community and society at large.

C) Whom we partner with: We work together with a wide range of partners who share the same fundamental vision for our digital future including individuals, groups, communities, regional, government and health authorities, private entities and NGOs, universities and research organisations. 

D) Who can join us: This Community is open to anyone adhering to and committing to sharing these principles.

E) What will be our impact: We will enable a world in which society can manage social and economic challenges (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), whilst maintaining individual autonomy. Establishing an environment based on human values of trust and autonomy, supported by a future-proof digital backbone that guides and protects this.

F) How our work shall be used: Derivative work based on outcomes of this community must be used in good faith in regards to these principles and reference to the methodology of Disposable IDs as well as relevant open source licences.

G) Commitment: Members of this community are committed to these principles.
 

The Governance

Engagement requires commitment to a set of basic rules and guidance for all those participating in the development of Disposable ID resources and communications, the core SDK and all future applications. Governance of this Disposable ID program will be conducted by the Project Maintainers (founders) in a Steering Board initiated for this seeding  phase and pave the way for the value-driven implementation of Disposable IDs. This Governance will eventually be transferred to the legal entity of a Foundation within the future roadmap.
 

Organisational structure

This basic governance has been defined for the current common engagement:

Community

The heart of this community is a dynamic global network of developers, designers, activists and enthusiasts who are using Disposable IDs for their own applications and solutions such as reducing the impacts of the COVID19 pandemic. 

Working Groups 

Specific topics, challenges and development work of individual spin-off projects are organised by working groups in sub channels. Working groups are asked and encouraged to present their work to the overall community and Steering Board at intervals to share ideas and focus on the main topics and core values of Disposable IDs. 

Steering board

The Disposable ID SDK is maintained by the Steering Board. This Board will guide the project to ensure open source, Disposable ID requirements and certification schemes, projects - such as service design initiatives - and community management. The core goal of the Steering Board is to maintain the Disposable Identity SDK and support the community in leveraging the SDK for commercial and non-commercial purposes. The Steering Board is composed of the founders: Rob van Kranenburg, Jef Vanbockryck, Mirko Ross, Christian Nold, Jari Isohanni. This Steering Board will in the future be extended and open for new board members by forming into a not-for-profit foundation. The foundation will install an expert board that will help guide the direction of the overall network. We are fully aware of the total gender imbalance that in no way reflects the team that is actually working on it now.

The Steering Group is moving its work into a Stichting/Foundation according to Belgian law. The gender balance in the Board, RvB is 50-50%.

Communication

This community uses a common communication channel (today Telegram) to learn about each other's projects, share references and ideas and to join active projects. 

The community works in a self-organising way, setting up their own tools and communication channels based on the needs of the individuals in the project These tools and channels will not become official communication channels or be used as representations of Disposable IDs for external communication. The Steering Board maintains the:

How new people can get involved

People can join the network via the Telegram channel and are able to access official open-source releases in Github. Official projects can be joined through Telegram, SDK development work can be contributed through Github.


Spin-off projects

If you want to use or extend the Disposable ID SDK, you agree to follow our core principles and provide contributions based on these project’s principles.

Practical Organisation

On questions about Working Groups or the Steering Board just drop a message on Telegram to:

  • Tech & AI: Jef Vanbockryck
  • UX: Lorna Goulden
  • Coms: Mirko Ross
  • Legal: Jari Isohanni

Note: please add you Name, if you would like to lead and maintain one of these working groups!
 

The Core Principles of the Disposable Identities Community

Individuals Right to Privacy

Every individual has the right to privacy. Privacy is not secrecy, it is the power to selectively disclose information about oneself to the world. 


Positive attitude to the connected world

We believe in the positive power of data driven governance. We can build environments with connectivity hotspots but also with cold spots (no connectivity) and a regular serviced carrier and telco neutral environment so citizens can choose what kind of 'smart' environment they want to live in. 


Privacy-by-design

Privacy needs to be embedded at a fundamental level to protect ethical social life and prevent the further erosion of people’s trust in a digital future.
 

Self Sovereign Identity (SSI)

Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) is fundamental to creating a level playing field – giving citizens equal capabilities and giving back control in the face of companies and governments exploiting digital identities for their own purpose or benefit.


Individuals are Owners of their Data

In an era where we have become the product it is time to reclaim our right to our data, we believe that it is an essential right of each individual on this planet to decide How, Where and What is done with their data without having to forsake their participation in the global social community. We believe in the principles of GDPR (Lawfulness, Fairness,Transparency, Purpose Limitation, Data Minimization, Accuracy, Storage Limitation, Integrity and Confidentiality) and Disposable IDs provide cryptographic proof of an adequate data protection.


We work for the Common Good

We work to ensure the common wellbeing of every individual that will be affected by our actions with a Disposable ID. We do not support, encourage or participate in any activity that will do harm to people, animals or the planet.


Respectfully working together

Constructive criticism is a key part of our way of working and approach and we respect equality and freedom of speech.

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The Coms Group has activly working on a baseline document about Disposable Identities and the principles of this community. Special thanks to Kai , Bhaskar , @Hasse72 , @lornagoulden , @petros_kavassalis , @JefVanbockryck , Jari , Rob Christian Mirko for co-working on this!