A Co-operative Privacy and Trust system for digital dignity

Artists in every field want to collaborate with each other and with their own community-supporting audiences. But trusted collaboration without face to face interaction is difficult. Many of us let the major corporate social platforms manage the majority of our identity information, even if we prefer to work in trusted ‘peer-to-peer’ circles.

Resonate‘s Community Credentials project helps communities to award simple badge-like credentials that can be proven and recognised across organisations. Assuring safety, confirming identity, but protecting our data and private information. Resonate is partnering with Pavilion co-operative and Professor David Chadwick’s VerifableCredentials Ltd for this project that has won grant funding from the European Union’s Self Sovereign Identity Lab.

The Problem

In 2020 there has been a surge in online community values and greater visibility of cooperatives as a business model (1.2Bn members of co-ops globally) as the global community reels from the effects of Covid-19 on music and the arts. Forums and groups are springing up everywhere to support collective action or help local communities and neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, solutions are often fragmented and don’t share information very well, or safely. We end up ‘over-sharing’ information in an effort to prove things we claim about ourselves.

We should only share what we need in order to transact. And we should not have to keep on proving the same information over and over again (copies of utility bills, driver’s licenses, etc) when we could do that once, and re-use that ‘show me’. We need something like our own wallet, not another bank, central ID provider, Facebook, Google, or some credit reference agency to hold all our cards for us.

The Solution

Open Source Community Credentials provide community-friendly and transparent recognition, award and governance of verifiable credentials as simple badges. Verifiable Credentials are a new web standard for proving things digitally, thanks to some clever cryptography. Resonate are building to be the ‘Know Your Co-operator’ equivalent of KYC (Know Your Customer for business) for co-op social trust, all without reliance on centralised providers.

They’re providing an open source ‘plugin’ solution product, initially for Discourse, the biggest of the community software platforms (over 343m page views/month), reaching out to its active developer community and beyond that to other open source forum software providers. With this solution, members get control over what they choose to share and prove digitally, and don’t risk leaking information or being tracked.

Check out the deck that explains the project in a very visual way.

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