Glossary

In Depth
Definition

Current definition

Self-asserted ID

Self-asserted ID means an ID that people themselves assert or create.

For example, when you set up a social media profile or a blog persona, you may add your own personal details such as your name, age, location, a biography and perhaps your own image.

Self-asserted identity is growing in the digital world where we often choose how to portray ourselves and the claims we make. But there are limits to the extent to which any exclusively self-asserted identity claims are sufficient to unlock or 'prove' one's identity in the eyes of institutions.

When systems and norms arise that enable and routinize recoginzable, interoperable, ground-up, individual-controlled claims that are sufficient to prove one’s identity the definitional focus shifts from the realm of self-asserted ID to self-sovereign identity.

More around the web

"In contrast to the means of identity provided by an external party, there are also identities or personas that we create for ourselves in the digital world where we choose how to portray ourselves and the claims we make. This category also includes identities or personas that use pseudonyms or other approaches to obscure all or part of our formal “legal” identity, thereby presenting ourselves as we want to be seen rather than embracing an identity provider’s definition. These identities are heavily oriented toward the preferences of a particular individual, but may offer claims that clash with those of established identity providers."

Digital Identity and Privacy (Point of View paper) – Omidyar Network

"...my self-asserted ID is fine for basic information gathering, posting, and communication. But if my activities on [a] forum move to commerce, my (theoretical) bank-issued ID suddenly becomes more relevant. But it will be much better (and safer) for the bank to vouch for (or assert) my identity (without having to reveal the identifier that gives me access to my money) via a federated mechanism."

The Unifying Metasystem – Kim Cameron (citing Jamie Lewis)

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