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Understanding the European Self-Sovereign Identity Framework (ESSIF)
Daniël Du Seuil, Programm manager and blockchain architect with the Flemish public service, and Carlos Pastor, from BME in Spain, give an overview of the vision, objectives, and approach of the European Self-Sovereign Identity Framework (ESSIF).

In the current times, the mentioned values and goals of the EU need not only to be pursued in the analog world but also in the emerging and expanding digital world. In a world which is overall becoming more insecure, competitive, and authoritarian, Europe needs to project its core values in the digital world – for its own citizens and beyond. Just as the GDPR has a global signaling and role model function, we need a new model of digital identity based on European values to work across the globe. This model will not only protect and empower the citizens and organizations but also allow more efficient interactions and new business models.

The new emerging technologies and concepts like blockchain and self-sovereign identity hold the promise to construct a new model of digital identity and the EU member states want to take the lead in this disruptive approach. In 2018, 27 EU Member States, Norway, and Lichtenstein signed a deceleration creating the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP). The EBP assists the European Commission in establishing a European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI). In the short term (2019-2020), the main objective is to start the operation of EU-wide Blockchain-based services and to promote the use of the EBSI in “virtually” every domain of the public sector able to benefit from Blockchain technology. The EBSI has a particular focus on cross-border public services. In 2018, the EBP identified a set of Use-Cases to be implemented on the EBSI one of these important use cases is the European Self Sovereign Identity Framework (ESSIF). The EBSI will implement a generic Self-Sovereign Identity capability that is integrated and interoperable with existing building blocks and legal frameworks like eIDAS and GDPR.

The ESSIF will be focussing in the first stage and implementation on the public services/member states and the EBSI use cases that are now being developed (diploma and notarization). But a much larger scope and ambitions lie in the near future. Public-private interactions could also benefit from this concept and the ESSIF project wants to accelerate and stimulate an emerging market on SSI solutions/concepts with the trust and help on standardization/interoperability Europe can provide in the new digital world. The goal and focus of this project are to develop a first version or Minimum Valuable Product (MVP) of the ESSIF within the new European Blockchain Service Infrastructure by the end of 2019/begin 2020.

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Understanding the European Self-Sovereign Identity Framework (ESSIF)

  1. 1. Carlos Pastor Matut Convenor for ESSIF (EBSI) · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  2. 2. 1. Empower global SSI communities 2. Open to everyone interested in SSI 3. All content is shared with CC BY SA Alex Preukschat @SSIMeetup @AlexPreukschat Coordinating Node SSIMeetup objectives
  3. 3. ‘We cannot build services for the post-industrial age using the identity infrastructure of the industrial age. We need a new digital identity infrastructure.’ - David Birch · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  4. 4. Table of content: ● Introduction and context eSSIF en EBSI ● Why an European SSI Framework? ● ESSIF functional overview ● Roadmap and project approach · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  5. 5. Introduction and context · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  6. 6. The European Union's main aim is to promote peace, its value and the well-being of its people in an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of persons is ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum, immigration, and the prevention and combating of crime. In its relations with the wider world, the Union shall uphold and promote its values and interests and contribute to the protection of its citizens. Article 3 of the Treaty of Lisbon (2007, · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  7. 7. European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) Collaborate to let EU take the lead in blockchain · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  8. 8. EBP background · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  9. 9. What is EBSI? The European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) aims to become a “gold standard” digital infrastructure to support the launch and operation of EU-wide cross-border public services leveraged by blockchain technology. EBSI aims to establish itself in ‘virtually’ every public sector domain that can benefit from blockchain technology. EBSI will focus on specific use cases where blockchain technology can enhance cross-border digital public services. These use cases are identified and selected each year by the Member States (European Blockchain Partnership) and the European Commission. · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  10. 10. EBSI at a glance · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  11. 11. EBSI use cases · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  12. 12. EBSI structure · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  13. 13. Why an European SSI framework for public services? · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  14. 14. “ user central to the administration of identity?
  15. 15. · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  16. 16. Current approach in EU (only once)
  17. 17. Linking authentic public/private sources? · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  18. 18. · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  19. 19. “ a global identity approach ...
  20. 20. “ and another global identity approach ...
  21. 21. (European) Self sovereign identity (Framework)? · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  22. 22. Problems we want to solve with ESSIF ● Data acquisition and maintenance ● Data processing ● Data silos ● Lack of data control ● Privacy issues ● Lack of universality ● Lack of interoperability ● Limitations of eIDAS ● Lack of certifications · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  23. 23. ● How to facilitate cross-border interaction with SSI. ● How to make/keep national SSI projects interoperable. ● How to integrate/align existing building blocks such as eIDAS, e-delivery, once-only with SSI. ● Stimulate the SSI-transformation of public services ● How to conceptualize and build an identity layer in the new European Blockchain Services Infrastructure. ● How to preserve European/democratic values in the implementation of Self Sovereign identity. ● Stimulate SSI development and standardisation on global level. Scope ESSIF · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  24. 24. Out of scope of ESSIF ● The interpretations of the data (semantics) and the necessary standardizations and business logic is however outside the scope of ESSIF. ● ESSIF will provide in its first instance support for other EBSI use cases (like diploma and notarization) ● The issue of consent is partially implicit and for the other part out of scope. ● ESSIF will not build and maintain an SSI wallet for all European citizens and interfere in this way with the emerging market of SSI solutions and personal data storage. ● Academic research on SSI is out of scope of the EBSI use case ESSIF. ● Measures to cope with the dark side of SSI are out of scope but need to be subject of further academic research. · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  25. 25. How does these new identity models really work?
  26. 26. ESSIF functional overview · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  27. 27. ESSIF Functional overview · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  28. 28. ESSIF Functional overview · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  29. 29. ESSIF functional overview Features: Allow a user to ● identify/authenticate ● gather verifiable credentials ● present verifiable credentials ● withdraw presentations ● manage credentials and presentations ● recover control over lost identity Allow organization to ● Issue Credentials ● Get Credentials presentations from users Properties: ● Support multiple use cases / Digital Identities ● Support self-sovereignty (aka user-control) ● Support “privacy by design” (of information, relationships and anonymity where required) ● Support multiple levels-of-assurance (as not all use cases require the same) ● Able to connect with multiple Issuers/Trusted Ledgers ● Able to connect with multiple Service Providers/Verifiers/Relying Parties ● Be easy to integrate (especially for Relying Parties) · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  30. 30. Credential Use Cases User: ● Verify / Authenticate Issuer ● Make a Credential Request (CR) to Issuer ● Verify & Register VC Issuer: ● Authenticate (or Verify) User ● Issue Verifiable Credential (send VC to User) ● Revoke/suspend previously issued VC ● Publish/Register available VC types · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  31. 31. Presentation Use Cases User/Subject: ● Authenticate Service Provider (SP) ● Request a Service or Product (to a SP) ● Create Verifiable Presentation (VP) in response to a Presentation Request from SP ● Send created VP to SP and Register it ● Withdraw previously sent VP Service Provider: ● Authenticate User ● Send Presentation Request (PR), specifying Credentials and Purpose, to User ● Verify received Verifiable Presentation in response to PR ● Signature and Status ● Confirm Presentation Reception ● Confirm VP Withdrawal · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  32. 32. Privacy by design: unlinkable actions
  33. 33. Roadmap and project approach · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  34. 34. The roadmap and project landscape ESSIF Phase 1: Defining the ESSIF components for the EBSI based on applicable use cases and first implementation. (2019) Additional R&D: Research on eSSIF framework. Designing, building and piloting. Supporting MS connection (2020-2021) Phase 2: ESSIF large scale implementation (2021-2022) ESSIF as a new ‘once only’ principle/approach
  35. 35. International SSI projects (sovrin, uport, etc) European Blockchain Partnership CEF Blockchain projects Use case/building block eSSIF Use case diploma EBP infrastructure H2020 DT-GOV-05 New forms of delivering public goods and inclusive public services ESSIF and once only eSSIF implementation Diploma implementation ONCE ONLY CEF building blocks eIDAS, eDelivery, etc National SSI projects (alastria, botm, etc) 2020 2021 20222019 H2020 ICT-24-2018-2019 eSSIF-Lab Supporting Connection to EBSI ESSIF project landscape · CC BY-SA 4.0 International
  36. 36. Orientation Input Tech specification Usecasesandstakeholders Business specs Social specs Legal specs Technicalspecifications reviewed EBP workgroup ESSIF external SSI stakeholders EBP Information Projectplan Report Vision Purpose Benefits Scope Interdependencies TechConceptualarchitecture Workshop Report EBP Report EBP Work shop Transitionplanning EBP Dissemination Report CEF Support team 05-19 08-19 10-19 01-20 Business owner Projectmanager Workshop moderator Architect Tech experts Business analist Legal experts Economic expertsCommunication expertSocial experts Dev team Implement
  37. 37. European Service Infrastructure Blockchain
  38. 38. Freedom is control in your own life. - Willie Nelson -
  39. 39. Carlos Pastor Matut Convenor for ESSIF (EBSI) · CC BY-SA 4.0 International Thank you for your attention(and thanks to Rene Margritte)