The Verifiable Claims Task Force

A Task Force of the Web Payments Interest Group

Verifiable Claims Telecon

Minutes for 2016-03-01

Dave Longley is scribing.
Manu Sporny: Any updates/changes to the agenda?

Topic: Review Web Payments IG Vote on VCTF

Manu Sporny: So, how did the VCTF presentation go at the F2F?
Manu Sporny: David I'd like to hear your thoughts on this after I give an overview. David is the co-chair for the Web Payments Interest Group at W3C.
Manu Sporny: We had a vote, its was 20+ (we stopped counting at 23) in favor, zero opposed to writing a draft charter and gathering use cases to be presented to everyone we've interviewed and W3C membership in general.
Manu Sporny: Really good news, we get to go to the next stage in the process.
Manu Sporny: We need to circulate the charter and get feedback on it. If it's been killed off at this point it's because the W3C membership doesn't want to proceed.
Eric Korb: [Plays clapping audio]
Manu Sporny: Yes, congrats to everyone. We learned a lot of things at the F2F in terms of understanding why people have been fighting this, not all that I can share right now, but some of those concerns are that it's a hard problem and the chances of achieving it aren't as high as we'd like. People think the work is really important but there's a non-trivial chance of failure even if we a very limited charter and scope of work.
Manu Sporny: Anything you want to add David?
David I. Lehn: No, I think you've got that right. I think your statement was a tad on the grim side, a lot of people do think this work is important. I want to express that almost everyone in the room deeply appreciates the amount of work and due diligence this group has done. If it weren't for this herculean effort that this task force is putting in we probably wouldn't be where we are so congrats on that.
David I. Lehn: As far as where we are, this grain runs very deep. We should go ahead and create a charter for review, it's a calculated risk -- if the charter goes too far there will be pushback and if not far enough, not good enough to get us started. Speaking as myself, it's important that we try to find that comfortable spot, because once the work has begun it's a whole different ball game. Right now the IG has to do a balancing act but once the group starts it becomes semi-autonomous and doesn't go through a middle person. So people shouldn't feel like it's forever that you'll be under the shadow of the IG.
Shane McCarron: I just wanted to say that there's a thing we all need to keep in mind about W3C or any standards organization. It's important that they consider their reputation and it's reasonable for them to consider it in the balance of all of the other reasons for doing work. It's not the ultimate one but part of the mix. If we perceive resistance part of that is the risk of failure. Failure doesn't look good, what if you held a party and nobody came, what if you built a standard and nobody came. It's happened before. We want to make certain whatever we bring forward we have a high confidence of success in.
Manu Sporny: Anyone have any more thoughts?
David I. Lehn: To add to Shane, reputation is everything and I've been at W3C long enough to be there during the years when there was huge amounts of turmoil where the AC didn't believe that the WG and IG weren't doing things they should be doing and that's not pleasant. I think Jeff Jaffe is in our favor here -- he can seem hard nosed, but one of the things that's great about him, speaking for myself, if Jeff is ok with what you're doing, the AC will be fine. In some ways that makes it a little easier and less contentious. There should be some focus on Jeff in all this.
Manu Sporny: Agreed, great input.
Manu Sporny: One of the things that came out of the meeting is that we may be handed off to a different domain lead. So perhaps better done in another location. We learned that Wendy Seltzer, the current domain lead, she said that we may want to be handed off to another area and on top of that, she is really concerned that we are saying this is a generalized verifiable claims solution. She's said why not just focus on education. When she said that, the US Fed Rep said "No, that would be a mistake to focus on just one vertical, you need to take financial and healthcare into account because otherwise you'll get a point solution." General feedback from the group was to make it as broad as possible, but make sure people from those areas are in the group.
Daniel C. Burnett: Makes sense. While it's better to support 3 communities than one, it's better to support one than none.
Manu Sporny: We're going to write a charter in a fairly general way, circulate it in the various communities and if it turns out if one of those communities won't send someone to participate in the work, we'll need to remove those communities from the charter. If only the education orgs respond and no one else responds, we'll need to focus the charter on education. W3C management has said that that's what they can support and get behind. If we're going to make grand claims and only education folks are in the room, it isn't all inclusive and we can't take other communities desires into account.
Manu Sporny: Any concerns?
Manu Sporny: It is up to us to make sure there is broad buy in to the charter because otherwise it will be limited to whichever orgs want to participate.
Heather Vescent: That makes a lot of sense from your perspective. My concern is having the charter, if we end up going down the path of only thinking of one community in mind, the only one that can participate, then how do we socialize these ideas in other communities that we want to utilize this at some point in the future. I'm new to the W3C process ... this is a long term plan, not a 6 month plan, it's like 10 years.
Manu Sporny: Yup.
Heather Vescent: My interest is in banking and finance and there's a lot of politics here, how do we both be specific and focused to show success but as it occurs also bring in others into the process.
Manu Sporny: We're to the point where we have to get orgs to commit. Once we have a charter we have to get them to commit. It's a people skills thing, each of us has deep contacts into these areas and we need to show the charter to those people and ask them to join because it won't happen if they don't.
Manu Sporny: Heather, you taking that charter out to your contacts would really help. You identifying someone in your own orgs who can come and do the work, not a 10 year commitment, but 6-12 months, that would really help. We're focused on the next 4-5 months and that's the start of the first technical group. Once that starts then we can talk about the vision and 10 years and all that.
Heather Vescent: That all makes sense. Thanks.
Manu Sporny: To be clear we do need people to understand the vision as well. There will be a link to the charter, it will be public, there will be use cases. Each of us will go to finance or healthcare or education or gov't and tell them to participate.
Manu Sporny: Any other questions points?

Topic: Next Steps (W3C AC Meeting)

Manu Sporny: There is a W3C AC meeting happening in Boston at the end of this month. That's our next deadlin.e
Manu Sporny: The hope is that we have a charter and use cases ready to be socialized at least a week before that.
Manu Sporny: That's 15-20 days from now.
Manu Sporny: We need to get a set of docs together to start socializing among the advisory committee. They cannot give us any time to talk about it at the meeting because it's too late in the process, meaning we can't get up on stage and talk about it. But we can circulate it among the forum and say we'll be there to talk about it and have hallway discussions with key people. The more people we have at W3C having discussions the better. Right now it's only David Ezell and myself.
David I. Lehn: I'm going.
Manu Sporny: I don't know if anyone else will be going.
Shane McCarron: It is possible that I will be there if all the stars align.
Manu Sporny: We're going to try and do hallway conversation and talk with people about it and start building momentum there and in parallel contact the interviewees and talk about the charter and use cases and get input from people who gave input on the survey, etc.
Manu Sporny: We've got a lot of things going, a lot of communication to do over the next month and a half. That's what we're shooting for.
Manu Sporny: Any questions about the meeting?
Manu Sporny: Any questions about the purpose of the AC meeting or what we need to get done by the AC meeting time?

Topic: Draft Charter Proposal

Manu Sporny: As some of you know, we took a real quick first stab at the charter, link in IRC.
Manu Sporny: What would be really good if the folks on the phone would ... if you do nothing else over the next few weeks, I know everyone is busy, but please read the charter and provide your input on it. We need the VCTF to really look at the charter and whip it into shape. Grammatical stuff, ideas, whatever. This is the document we're going to be circulating to folks.
Manu Sporny: We don't want anything in there to be controversial. We want people to say "Yes this is important and yes I will join the work."
Eric Korb: What are the deadlines again?
Manu Sporny: 15 Days from now we need the charter done. By the end of this week, get your comments in on the charter.
Eric Korb: Thanks
Manu Sporny: So we can rev the charter. Then by the 15th we're going to circulate the charter with the advisory committee (400+ people).
Shane McCarron: So no pressure :)
Manu Sporny: So we have a week to get comments in and a week to rev it.
Shane McCarron: Use cases in shape in the same time period?
Manu Sporny: Yes, we'll talk about that next on agenda.
Manu Sporny: Just to remind everyone, the charter is just a data format and set of syntaxes and a note specifying how these data models should be integrated into existing attribute exchange protocols and/or a recommendations on how to change those protocols and/or a new protocol needs to exist because, for example, the existing ones aren't privacy enhancing.
Manu Sporny: So that's doing an analysis on how this stuff fits into the existing ecosystem today or if we need to build a new one.
Manu Sporny: Any questions?
Manu Sporny: Any concerns about the direction we're taking?

Topic: Use Cases Document

Manu Sporny: Shane, Dan, Gregg, Brian did a fantastic job getting this into shape. Thank you everyone, thanks for getting it updated Shane.
Manu Sporny: Whittling it down to 4-8 use cases is what we need to do next.
Manu Sporny: We want to keep that these limited just for the advisory committee to consider and these people will give the charter 5 minutes of time and the use cases maybe 5 minutes, so we need to be very clear and concise on what we're asking them to consider.
Brian Sletten: What is the interplay between the proposed charter, the potential set of industries that may/may not be involved, and the use cases we're considering in this initial go.
Manu Sporny: Great question, I don't know. We definitely have education at the table, banking and finance can be at the table, the use cases should definitely have that. Healthcare is more of a stretch, Eric we need to lean heavily on the folks we know there but it may be hard to get them to the table.
Shane McCarron: I think the document can reflect requirements for all of those sectors
Manu Sporny: I think that's kind of the use cases we could focus on. That's my personal opinion, what do others thing?
Manu Sporny: Should we downplay some of those, focus on them?
David I. Lehn: I just wanted to say that it sounds like a reasonable list and growing it too large works against purposes because of the time and the need to not be boiling the ocean.
Shane McCarron: So a couple of things. First, the use case documents today talks about five different areas of requirements. To recap, the document is structured as requirements and supporting scenarios for them. We have user story backing for requirements. They are ordered so finance comes first where relevant. Then there are five categories, issuing, consuming, managing, endorsing/sharing.
Shane McCarron: I think we can take our sharing and managing for the purposes of this charter. Because we're only focused on the data structure
Shane McCarron: We're not talking about protocol. If they are talking about protocol we can take out. We can get down to 8, sure, can we get down to the scenarios that back those 8 or fewer requirements, I think we can, but my goal would be to try and cover all the industries in those scenarios, even if they aren't at the table. If someone wants to show up I want them to be in there. I don't want to leave that out of this document unless the rest of the group disagrees with me.
Manu Sporny: So I agree with almost everything you said if not everything. To put a finer point on it, charter is limited to format/model/syntax, not protocol.
Shane McCarron: I would also like to develop a second document - extended use cases, that covers the rest of the "vision" so that we know what we would like to address eventually
Manu Sporny: The use cases that we come up with have to talk more about expressing the claims vs. getting them from point A to point B. In the same vein, we don't want to accidentally put something into the data model so it makes it impossible to meet some protocol use cases that are coming down the line. Thinking about endorsement or counter signatures or unlinkability, or thinking about delegated authorization and how that works, and all of that could have requirements on the data model and syntax and get that into the use cases because if it's not in there people may say "that's not in the use cases" later and that could cause some trouble.
Manu Sporny: Any other questions/comments on how to address the use cases?
Dave Longley: +1 To manu
Shane McCarron: I don't want to lose our existing use cases because there's a lot of data we've gathered and I want to have that vision ... the rest of the thing, not for AC consumption but for whatever. I don't want to lose track of that because we all know there's more work than just data model and syntax.
Shane McCarron: An appendix makes the document big and it could be intimidating.
Shane McCarron: Discussion for the task force to make?
Manu Sporny: It's really important to give people an idea of vision, I'm wondering if we want to create another document that is specifically use cases for a credentials WG, here's a charter that goes along with it, and that's all we're asking people to approve right now, and then link to a larger doc. The idea of an appendix is good, but I'm worried that people may be scared off by it if it's attached to anything that is attached to a really constrained charter. People have a fear of complexity and it pushes people to not vote for something. Having a big use cases doc could generate that fear of complexity in the AC reps because they won't take the time to say what's not in scope and what is in scope for the charter. They will just jump to a bunch of conclusions. What about saying "This doc is all you need to pay attention to now" And then we bury the larger use cases somewhere in the charter or elsewhere.
Shane McCarron: We have that opencredentials area and we could put all the use cases there, and say the community has looked at that and it this large thing, and for this charter we have this small thing now.
Shane McCarron: Restating, maybe we could use the opencreds space, the thing we have for use cases for the big document, the vision. This smaller document lives wherever, I don't know where it lives for stuff like this. It's not an IG deliverable, or a community deliverable. Hmm.
Manu Sporny: Sounds like a question for David. The larger use cases doc should be in the community now. I don't see it moving away from that yet. I didn't hear consensus where the charter and the smaller use cases doc should be placed. Does it belong in the IG or in the CG for now?
David I. Lehn: It should probably be in the IG space as this is an IG task force. That may be a pain, but with the original use cases for the IG we pulled that onto the W3C server. If it's easier on github I defer to you, Shane.
Shane McCarron: I think we can take it off line. Doesn't matter where it lives, just has to be somewhere.
David Ezell: The closer it is the better.
Shane McCarron: Makes sense.
Manu Sporny: I have a strong preference to put it in the IG workspace, the VCTF is in the IG. That group needs to have some ownership over this document. The IG itself. And then there are concerns around IPR but I don't think there are any IPR issues with this stuff, so let's not make that a reason to have a problem with it because if we put it in the IG it's very clear, no issues.
Shane McCarron: Is the wpig space under the w3c space on github?
Manu Sporny: No IPR issues.
Shane McCarron: I found it
Manu Sporny: We may want to circulate back with the IG and make sure they are ok with that -- meaning putting the charter proposal and the small use cases doc in WPIG space.
David Ezell: Ok. We'll let them know. They voted to have the task force so they are ok with it.
Manu Sporny: Any other questions/concerns about use cases or what we're doing over the next couple of weeks?
Manu Sporny: So let's assign actions then.
Manu Sporny: I will take the lead on the charter.
Manu Sporny: Please send feedback on the mailing list, the VCTF/Credentials CG/ or WPIG mailing list, whichever you have access to.
Shane McCarron: Let's make a top level VCTF folder?
Manu Sporny: Feedback on the charter.
Manu Sporny: So the call next week will focus on comments on the charter and the use cases.
Manu Sporny: So also feedback on the use cases.
Manu Sporny: Then we will rinse and repeat until we send out the charter and use cases.
Heather Vescent: Sounds good to me. I'm in.
Heather Vescent: I also have a piece about this coming out in American Banker soon.
Nate Otto: I can socialize in education as well.
Manu Sporny: Myself and David will do retail/etc. We'll rely on Eric/John to talk to education.
John Tibbetts: +1 On pinging education community
Manu Sporny: Any other comments/questions/concerns?
Manu Sporny: Everyone have a clear idea of the plan moving forward?
Manu Sporny: Great, thanks everyone, congrats to all on making it to the next stage in the process.
Heather Vescent: Thanks all!
Manu Sporny: We have a very short time frame, let's try and see what we can get done in that time frame and we'll get feedback at the end of the month on how we're doing. All chat next week.