Digital Ecosystem Roles and Information Flows

Note: This is an edited excerpt from the upcoming release of the Public Sector Profile of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework Version 1.1

The digital ecosystem roles are carried out by many different entities that perform specific roles under a variety of labels. Given the variety of business, service, and technology models that exist within the digital ecosystem, roles may be performed by multiple different actors in a given context, or one actor may perform several roles (e.g., be a relying party as well as a credential provider).

The model consists of four roles:

  1. Subject: An entity about which Claims are asserted by an Issuer.
  2. Issuer: An entity that asserts one or more Claims about one or more Subjects, creates a Credential from these Claims, and assigns the Credential to a Holder.
  3. Holder: An entity that controls one or more Credentials from which a
    Presentation can be expressed to a Verifier. A Holder is usually, but not always, the Subject of a Credential
  4. Verifier: An entity that accepts a Presentation from a Holder for the purposes of delivering services or administering programs.

The model also consists of five information flows:

1. Claim: A statement about a Subject.

2. Credential: A set of one or more Claims asserted about one or more Subjects .

3. Presentation: Information derived from one or more Credentials. The data in a Presentation is often about the same Subject, but the Credentials might have been issued by different Issuers.

4. Credential Registration: An indication of the existence of a credential.

5. Correctness Confirmation: An indication of the correctness of the Presentation itself and the correctness of the information associated with the Presentation.

Methods encompass the sets of rules that govern such things as data models, communications protocols, cryptographic algorithms, distributed ledgers, databases, and similar schemes; and combinations of these. Methods also include systems that are isolated or have intermittent connectivity. Within the context of the digital ecosystem, Methods enable actors to interact directly or indirectly with one another without either party being bound to a particular solution or technology.

Entities are defined as things with a distinct and independent existence such as a person, organization or device that can be subject to legislation, policy, or regulations within a context, and which may have certain rights, duties, and obligations. An entity can perform one or more roles in the digital ecosystem.

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