On Portable Identity
Portable Identity is the right and responsibility of each of us to create, control, and carry the important pieces of information that define who we are in a private, secure, and trusted manner. Other individuals, entities or authorities may validate (or “attest to”) various aspects of our identity, but portability implies that we ourselves own and manage our identity details and determine what others know about us in any given context. The reciprocal right of others to know enough about us to feel safe to interact with us effectively creates a “need to know” standard for sharing information about our identity. The “need to know” standard defines what someone reasonably requires to give us permission to act in a situation that requires some level of authorization. That standard might require very different things in different instances – for example, receiving a payment from someone might require much less information than extending credit to that same person. The extent to which a person is able to operate freely in a world of portable identity will correspond to the trust that person can establish through their identity details and associated attestations.