What is a DID?

December 8, 2018

One of the major concerns with standard digital identity solutions is correlation. This means the ability to track an identity holder’s data—like social security number, phone number, or username—across multiple websites and log-ins. This is a major security threat and leaves the identity holder vulnerable.

By default, Sovrin uses Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs)—identifiers intended for self-sovereign, verifiable digital identities. Sovrin is built from the ground up using something called ‘pairwise pseudonymous identifiers’ to reduce correlation. This means Sovrin separates the data from direct identifiers so that linkage to an identity is not possible without additional information that is held separately.

As outlined in the W3C Draft Report on “Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) v0.11, “Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) are a new type of identifier for verifiable, ‘self- sovereign’ digital identity. DIDs are fully under the control of the DID subject, independent from any centralised registry, identity provider, or certificate authority.” eIDAS takes a more conventional approach, stipulating that “a qualified electronic signature shall have the equivalent legal effect of a handwritten signature”.14 eIDAS defines an “electronic signature” as “data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign.”

DIDs are globally unique identifiers that do not require a centralized registration authority because they are registered with distributed ledger technology or other decentralized networks.

Read more about Sovrin and DIDs here.

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