The Verifiable Claims Task Force

A Task Force of the Web Payments Interest Group

Verifiable Claims Telecon

Minutes for 2016-11-15

Dave Longley is scribing.
Matt Stone: We need to add the following item to the agenda today: start process issues in the spec (from manu)

Topic: W3C AB Feedback

Matt Stone: The link in the agenda that we just dropped in to this discussion... Manu you suggested we add this to the agenda in the last day or two. Could you give us a quick intro?
Manu Sporny: Sure. The discussion (the AB feedback) ... just a precursor to this, this is W3C member-confidential, so we can't actually talk about the contents or what people said. We can only talk about what is in the public.
Manu Sporny: The W3C advisory board, they are elected, there are 10 on the board, 3 of them are Tantek (Mozilla), Chris Wilson (Google), Mike Champion (Microsoft). These three have raised concerns about the VC work publicly.
Shane McCarron: Huzzah!
Manu Sporny: Mike Champion from MS sent an email in that basically said that ... it was good. He was convinced that the education industry use cases meet the requirements for effectively starting a working group. He said he's "personally" persuaded, doesn't mean it's a MS position. That's good that we have met the REC track readiness criteria.
Manu Sporny: REC track readiness criteria:
Manu Sporny: He says we've met that for VC.
Manu Sporny: MS could still formally object if someone else doesn't want the work to proceed. Mike is convinced from an education perspective, specifically, Matt Stone, Richard Varn, and Nate Otto said things that were convincing. Then he wants to hear from the retail space. We've raised this and we need to hear from Bob Burke, Jay, and we've heard from Gray Taylor from Conexxus but Mike didn't find that compelling. He wants to see the implementers, not in general, but the specific spec being put forward. And do they have the ability to put this into the market. That's where he's coming from.
Manu Sporny: Those are the types of responses that Mike needs to hear to convince him.
Manu Sporny: I think that's where we are right now. Matt over to you.
Matt Stone: A followup question to that is ... I know we spawned out of the Web Payments IG as a need to solve issues in the payments space. And it turns out that another vertical may be more mature in the need (Education). So what? Maybe we validated that we need a standard for industries that are not payments. What happens if we leave them behind and we don't satisfy his need for a use case in that space?
Shane McCarron: (I am not concerned; there are payments people who care; lots of them)
Manu Sporny: This places the Web Payments IG in an awkward position, they voted unanimously to put the charter up for a vote at W3C in the first place. I would expect that we'd hear from the IG. If we don't, then payments get removed from the charter and that's that. It's mostly that that group didn't expect to be taken out of the charter.
Matt Stone: Is that something that you and your relationship with the Web Payments members would drive?
Manu Sporny: Yes.
Manu Sporny: And Shane, I don't know if you want to say anything.
Shane McCarron: I put it in IRC already, there are payments people who care and they'll speak up.
Manu Sporny: We've requested space on the IG call next week to discuss this.
Manu Sporny: The discussion seems to be around "Yes, but who has actually implemented this out in the field as REC track readiness criteria." What Chris, Tantek, Mike seem to be saying is that they need to see people who have implemented the spec as it stands right now in the wild and this is kind of a new thing at W3C and it's not an opinion that is shared by all W3C members. The general tenor from them seems to be that standards should be discovered and not created, and even though we have organizations saying they've been implementing this stuff for a decade plus, and their response is "You haven't implemented this *specific thing* and how does it solve a problem you couldn't solve before?"
Phil Hunt: I think you have all put in so much effort, I don't know why it's even a thing and the sooner we get this on the road the better, I'd like to stop arguing and get on with it. This thing with incubation I think you've proved it. I understand why creating standard before market is a bad idea, but this group is being asked to do things that have never been asked to do. I'm amazed that anyone of you are even bothering to show up at this point.
Shane McCarron: I *love* being the first one to break ground at the W3C. :/
Manu Sporny: Thank you Phil, great to hear from W3C staff that you feel that the bar here is fantastically high. I think the reason the AB discussed this is because reps want to see something changed at W3C. They are concerned that W3C staff is spread too thin and they want to see thorough incubation before work started and the VC work was just coming to a head just as they feel that the way they fee labout changing W3C is also coming to a head. They have new criteria that they want to see become part of the W3C process. They are exercising that philosophy on use through their positions on the AB and as large W3C members.
Manu Sporny: I don't think we're the first to break new ground, this is a new thing that they want to see happen and they are using us to push that discussion, is my view.
Shane McCarron: I also love being used. :P
Manu Sporny: But, with that happening, I think we have actually done the things they want us to do. For example, Chris Wilson has said there are no implementations, but there are and they are deployed (Digital Bazaar, ACDT, Pearson, ETS). There's clearly a miscommunication that's happened.
Manu Sporny: They want to see a system they can use that uses this spec.
Phil Hunt: I was looking at the use case document. The use case document is deliberately generic. I was asking whether ... Mike Champion, who seems to be softening which is nice, he was saying is there an ecosystem. And we say "Yes". And you say we took the specifics out to make a nice use case document. I think everyone in this group has put enough effort into this. I want to look at the charter and do some bits and bobs with it. I want to go to W3M and talk with them and they need to review it internally and I don't think there's any problem and I think it will go to the AC in the coming weeks. Unless I find anything else, I would be inclined to move the conversation and get on with what you want to do instead of answering the same question from the same people all the time.

Topic: Specific Use Cases

Matt Stone: So, last week, specifically the use cases have a pendulum swing/yo-yo pattern. On one hand too specific and then too generic. We show one, they want to see the other one. So it seems.
Matt Stone: We started a very brief, pragmatic document, from healthcare, education, commerce, KYC. Here are the current use cases that are in practice today that are representative of the marketplace out in the wild where a standard would facilitate interop, privacy, and other goals we have. Can we shift gears about what we need to do, is that the last nail in the coffin so we can move onto issues in the spec.
Matt Stone: Here's the document that I just put into IRC>
Manu Sporny: I think one of the things that ... when Phil sent us the email, can we get some documented use cases with real world data, and I think a number of us are just trying to get that data here. I know our organization has a bunch of VC that we're talking with various companies about and we're engaged in pilots. I know Pearson, Evernym, Open Badges, etc have this stuff and we can talk about it and show the friction points on what's out there.
Manu Sporny: Once we document this stuff we'll link to it from the use cases ... is that what you'd find useful, Phil?
Phil Archer: You already got a well written use cases document. Given the work you've done here, I'd be inclined ... as a suggestion here, under each generic use cases, you could say "Real world situations where this applies" with one, ideally more cases. These are real world companies that are happy to be named and if we meet these use cases then we've solved these problems. I would update the use case document with these real cases rather than trying to do anything new.
Matt Stone: It seems like where we are then is, we have a group of us trying to collect real world examples, running right now in a parallel doc and the goal would be to bring them back into the official use case doc and either embed or refer to them.
Shane McCarron: Happy to update the use cases with other data!
Matt Stone: I hear that right?
Phil Archer: It's not part of the charter. This is the use case doc that you're working on for the working group. I'm pretty sure the charter is as it's going to be. This is simply to the acknowledge the discussion that's been going on and it can go out in the call to the AC for review.
Matt Stone: Sure.
Manu Sporny: I would propose a slightly different strategy; we would still gather the data and put it in the doc, but maybe have a different section with real world data. 30-40-50 people have reviewed the use cases document at this point but don't have the real world data in the document and maybe what we need in the document is a section that just talks about real world data. And we say "For example, here are some VC in the wild today. And we put an example of open badges, pearson/acclaim stuff, ETS examples, JohnTibbets IMSGlobal, we've got examples from DHS, we just put that in there with a bunch of claims and say this is what it looks like and say what's deployed, etc.
Manu Sporny: Any thoughts on that approach?
Dave Longley: +1
Matt Stone: +1
Shane McCarron: It feels harmless... +1
Gregg Kellogg: +1
Shane McCarron: (Just so people can find the information)
Matt Stone: I think that's a reasonable way to represent this. When I go through the use cases I don't want to page through a bunch of examples that don't apply to my industry. Right now I can read use cases and see how theey apply. This goes in the appendix.
Bob Burke: With coupon media we see some applications and should we talk about what we want to do moving forward as well? We see applications for it, we just haven't done it yet.
Manu Sporny: Yes, basically Mike Champion from MS needs to hear that from you and even just a mock up of what you want to do, he needs to hear it. Right now he's not hearing it and thinks you aren't there, when we know that you're here.
Manu Sporny: I don't think we'd embed the examples directly in the document because they are very large, but we can link to them. We can store them in the directory. You wouldn't have to thumb through pages of content.
Matt Stone: Ok.
Manu Sporny: Phil, would that meet the requirements that you have, for links to real world data?
Gregg Kellogg: I can take no credit for the CSVW Use Cases.
Phil Archer: There are two things. Satisfying the demands from the AC and the AB. And getting the use cases document ready for publication as a WG in the new year. The CSV on the Web use case document is really good, it has real world data, nothing made up. I would be inclined to say, yes, put them in the appendix, wherever. At this stage now, I think we're just trying to get agreement to go ahead with this. In the message that goes to the AC for review, "In response to comments, here's real world data augmenting the use case document showing how it works with the existing use cases, etc." Or something like that.
Phil Archer: How it goes in tothe document is up to the editors.
Matt Stone: If I think about timing and sequence, and a sense of urgency, this document I scanned through ... are you saying/recommending that we produce a deliverable along these lines on a short timeline in the next week or two, before this goes up for a vote, or what is the urgent item that we do in the next 10 days that moves the needle on this?
Phil Archer: I believe in the emails we've gotten and the google doc I've just seen, I need to do my bit, just been too busy. My job, now, is to get two things ... I've got to get W3M to agree that it goes to the AC, which I think they'll do, I'll say to them that this group has been put through the mill, unusual level of scrutiny, asked every single question asked, answered multiple times, and where people are asking for showing existing ecosystem, development before we do anything, I can point to docs that show this has been done and I can point these other docs and can point to real world data now. When it goes out for review, it will include some of that information. It's for me to document what you've already documented and put that forward to the AC. I've read the discussions, I can see why they've been saying this. I know they've been asking the same question and getting answers. I've very confident that there will be a VCWG in the new year. And then, because of all the work you've done and you've already got your use case document and there's nothing new that you haven't already done.
Matt Stone: That sounds pretty positive.
Manu Sporny: One slight clarification, I do think we need to put that data in the use cases document and say "This is the data we're working with today. This is in systems today."
Phil Archer: Sure, yeah.
Shane McCarron: I don't mind adding some information to the use cases. Should it be in an appendix?
Phil Archer: I have a workshop in two weeks time which I'm hoping leads to a new working group and if we have to do go through this every time there is a new WG ... I will reserve passing judgment now. The WG I want to start next year would not pass all these tests.
Phil Archer: I wonder whether ... age verification and the UK passing a law for age verification to be in place for anyone selling age-restricted products/services.
Matt Stone: We have in the commerce side, claims that relate to over 21 and the US example is buying alcohol.

Topic: Age Verification Use Case

Matt Stone: We don't necessarily call this out in education explicitly, but in education and professional licensure, legislative acts are the defining bar that run that drive our systems. One of the examples I pulled together is verifying nurse aid license in SC, USA. It's not just a UK commerce restriction. Many examples require a verified claim before an individual can take a job or practice their craft.
Phil Archer: The political question comes in, at the moment, there are a number of ideas put forward for how you might do that. Most are ill-informed or wacko, and for various reasons should not be touched. My political fear is that, come the day that W3C has a REC for doing VC. Then the legislators will say "Now you can, therefore it is mandated that you must." In that case, the tech developed here has a whole extra layer on top of it and we have battles with ACLU. There's a whole load of politics that comes into that we have to mindful of. Asking whether this community has come across this as a political issue, has their been any flak about it, what will happen.
Phil Archer: You are going to get it.
Richard Varn: We've had a lot of discussions about it over the years and we're keenly aware of them. One of the reasons we're attracted to this is a toolset to help people make choices about how privacy is managed. In the very standards work we're doing, we're providing a response that the ACLU and other privacy advocates care about in the work. That doesn't mean that they won't misunderstand or misinterpret, that happens.
Richard Varn: Privacy sensitive and privacy protecting methods are important and we're proposing them. Not sure what else we can do there.
Manu Sporny: Phil, I just dropped a link in ... if you scroll a page down. Gray Taylor is the executive director of Conexxus, all fuel and retail in the US. If you buy fuel in the US or buy from a convenience store, you deal with the tech standards they put out there. Their primary use case is around age verification. It's for exactly what you said, it's for making sure a person is above a certain age to buy things like tobacco, alcohol, etc. from a convenience store. This is a primary use case for this and they are looking for VC that can address that and we have it in our use cases. That's on the desire side, they desire VC to address that use case.
Manu Sporny: What we also have is ... at a recent workshop calling Rebooting Web of Trust. A number of us got together and hashed out all of hte initial privacy considerations when it comes to VC. I know that Wendy at W3C is really concerned about privacy here and there are a number of EU mandates that are really important to take into consideration when talking about privacy, orgs that don't provide a certain level of privacy can be fined, very seriously. To attempt to address that we have a fairly good, high-level privacy consideration section. We have 15 items there, many not filled out that were discussions as section headers in the spec right now and we expect all of those things to filled out over the lifetime of the WG. You asked a general question: "Are you thinking about privacy?" And the short answer is "Absolutely".
Manu Sporny: There are many things to discuss about what's out there.
Phil Archer: The digital economy bill going through the UK parliament right now requires age verification. There's a requirement that they must do it ... and there are various ideas that are well intentioned but wrong, others who want to make a quick buck on proprietary systems, etc. If you're perfectly well aware of all this that's great, I assumed you would be. Lots of various legal concerns. As you clearly well know, this will bite you and you sound prepared which is terrific, thank you.
Matt Stone: One note on that, to this group, and to the W3C at large, it drives us to be careful about overselling our capability or deliverable that's in this charter. Our plan is to make a data model to represent this content. What you're describing is a full end to end solution with protocols, etc. We won't have that at this first phase.
Phil Archer: Yes, that's good. I noticed tha.t
Phil Archer: The charter mentions that.
Matt Stone: Any more on this topic?

Topic: Spec Issues

Matt Stone: Last remaining item on the agenda is to work through issues on the spec.
Manu Sporny: The claims data model spec has lived here^
Manu Sporny: All of the specs were on a name we started with and moved away from.
Manu Sporny: W3C has a new process where it manages all this stuff on github. The things between now and the formation of the WG, one of us will get to it, we need to get this spec into its own github repo, and then start adding issues, document the issues associated with that github repo. Typically every spec gets its own repo, use cases, its own repo, data model spec its own repo, etc. then start logging issues. The chairs and editors should look at the issues and prioritize them in a way that meets the goals of the WG. Rinse and repeat. There will be specs in github repos, issues logged against them. Most of the discussions happen on the github tracker these days instead of the mailing list. There's a process that W3C, we're seeing used more and more at WGs.
Manu Sporny: So, I guess the first question is, are there any objections to working in that way?
Gregg Kellogg: So, I think we had this discussion a while ago and we did resolve to use multiple repos. I'm still hung up on how to deal with shared assets. If you have terms in common, etc.
Gregg Kellogg: Having multiple use cases just seem to challenge that. In the CSVW case, there was a CSVW org where we could collect everything, sometimes issues span multiple specs and we could organize there. Being able to tag issues across all the different specs they might touch. If we go into multiple repos I'm concerned we'll lose cross linking and resource sharing.
Manu Sporny: Just to note how we address this in the Web Payments IG...has an IG repo, where general issues are raised that affect all the specs. Just a holding spot for issues that bridge a number of different specs. We also have spec-specific issue trackers that are just for issues for a very specific spec. Having those different issue trackers seems to be ok, people are ok with that. The other thing you raised is a technical question, how do you refer to a shared glossary. We publish everything to github pages and then you cross link to all the specs and pull in terminology from a common repo, etc. We did that with WPIG. Each spec pulls that terminology in thanks to a number of extensions that Shane did. There's a pattern we can follow that works in the WPIG.
Matt Stone: Thanks phila
Shane McCarron: Pretty close to same pattern in ARIA work. There's some magic in JS to automatically resolve interdocument refs, and it's a solved problem. It's not solved well, but well enough.
Matt Stone: So it seems that we're resolved to put the spec in its own repo according to manu's suggestion?
Gregg Kellogg: I'm sure it would work. There are different ways to do it, I just didn't understand all those technical things, I'm familiar with the mechanisms you've used to resolve these things, sort of just a clarification I was looking for, I don't have an issue with going in that direction.
Matt Stone: Dan is in korea, but voluteered
Manu Sporny: I can take an action to split the spec out, whoever does it has to know the history, so it should be me.
Matt Stone: Next week is Thanksgiving holiday in the US, we had decided not to meet, so two weeks from now. Would you let this group know when you have that work completed and two weeks from now Dan Burnett is up to chair and he'll use existing issues as a source for the agenda for the next meeting.
ACTION: Manu to migrate specifications to independent repositories.
Manu Sporny: Will do.
Matt Stone: Anymore business for the day?
None. Adjourned.