Glossary

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Definition

Current definition

Self sovereignty

Self-sovereignty is a feature of an ID or identity system, whereby, individual users maintain control over when, to whom, and how they assert their identity.

Often, this relates to self-asserted ID – where users have control because they created the identity themselves.

However, issued ID and defacto ID can also be classed as self-sovereign, where users are given greater control over how their identity is managed, as above.

Self-sovereignty is also closely linked to the concept of decentralized identity systems, as these often don’t rely on a formal ID provider, but aim to remove control of the identity system from any single point of institutional control.

More around the web

"The best way to think of self-sovereign identity is as a digital record or container of identity transactions that you control. You can add more data to it yourself, or ask others to do so. You can reveal some or all of it some of the time or all of the time. You can record your consent to share data with others, and easily facilitate that sharing. It is persistent and not reliant on any single third party."

The Inevitable Rise of Self-Sovereign Identity – Andrew Tobin & Drummond Reed, Sovrin Foundation

"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. To accomplish this, a self-sovereign identity must be transportable; it can’t be locked down to one site or locale."

The Path to Self-Sovereign Identity – Christopher Allen, Blockchain Commons

"A self-sovereign identity is a digital identity that is portable across different dApps, does not depend on any government or company, and can never be taken away. Unlike in the current Internet, as soon as you give your social security number to someone, it can be used anywhere without your consent which could potentially lead to identity theft. Self-sovereign identity allows you to connect to dApps while retaining control of attributes such as social security number that attest your identity without ever having to make a copy of that data."

Understanding Decentralized Identity – Richard Chen, 1confirmation

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