Relationships in the Self-Sovereign Internet of Things

Reference: Phil Windley’s Technometria

Source: Phil Windley’s Technometria

The Self-Sovereign Internet of Things (SSIoT) relies on the DID-based relationships that Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) provides, and their support for standardized protocols running over DIDComm, to create an internet of things that is much richer, secure, and privacy respecting than the CompuServe of Things we’re being offered today.

Just think of a practical use case like IoT enabled connected car and how many different scenarios can be simplified with SSI.

The most important relationship that a car has is with its owner. But there’s more than one owner over the car’s lifetime. At the beginning of its life, the car’s owner is the manufacturer. Later the car is owned by the dealership, and then by a person or finance company. And, of course, cars are frequently resold. Over the course of its lifetime a car will have many owners. Consequently, the car’s agent must be smart enough to handle these changes in ownership and the resulting changes in authorizations.

In addition to the owner, the car has relationships with other people: drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. The nature of relationships change over time. For example, the car probably needs to maintain a relationship with the manufacturer and dealer even after they are no longer owners. With these changes to the relationship come changes in rights and responsibilities.

In addition to relationships with owners, cars also have relationships with other players in the vehicle ecosystem including: mechanics, gas stations, insurance companies, finance companies, and government agencies. Vehicles exchange data and money with these players over time. And the car might have relationships with other vehicles, traffic signals, the roadway, and even potholes.

DIDComm-capable agents can be used to create a sophisticated relationship network that includes people, institutions, things and even soft artifacts like interaction logs. The relationships in that network are rich and varied — just like relationships in the real world. Things, whether they are capable of running their own agents or employ a soft agent as a digital twin, are much more useful when they exist persistently, control their own agent and digital wallet, and can act independently. Things now react and respond to messages from others in the relationship network as they autonomously follow their specific rules.

Good news is that, these scenarios can be implementation with existing SSI capabilities.

Have a detailed read on Phil’s website.

Management Consultant in BFSI with focus on Blockchain, Digital Identity, Open Banking; Mentor for Fintechs and Public speaker