Resonate is creating a Co-operative Privacy and Trust system for digital dignity across communities, working with EU project partners.
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.
Our 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 VerifiableCredentials Ltd for this project that has won grant funding from the European Union’s Self Sovereign Identity Lab.
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.
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. We 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. We’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 our solution, members get control over what they choose to share and prove digitally, and don’t risk leaking information or being tracked. We use the idea of the ‘wallet’ (kept in your pocket) and the ‘badge’ (worn on your shirt) as simple metaphors.
The music streaming ecosystem needs better authentication and digital proof, and with privacy. Credentials are essential for membership, music purchases, music copyrighting and gig ticketing scenarios. Particularly when music is the soundtrack for popular resistance, artists’ and listeners’ safety, security and privacy must be guaranteed. We shouldn’t rely on the global social corporate platforms to do this for us.
We’re working with our collaborating partners to bring this to you in mid-2021 for the Resonate ecosystem and eventually, for the broader co-op ecosystem.
Who are the partners?
Resonate –https://resonate.coop – is an ethical music streaming co-operative. Open source and fair trade, it’s a place where artists, listeners, and members control the community as voting shareholders. Membership is free and non-exclusive for artists and labels that share music. We are a rapidly growing community of artists, listeners and members who want to Play Fair.
For community-building, we are working with Pavilion – https://thepavilion.io/ – a workers co-operative for online communities. Pavilion has a long history of working with open source community software frameworks, and jumped at the chance to be a part of a project that could bridge identity, and foster privacy and trust, between different communities.
VerifiableCredentials Ltd is a spin-out from the University of Kent, UK, led by Professor David Chadwick, a co-author of the W3C Verifiable Credentials Data Model Recommendation. David has been a leading researcher in identity management for 20 years, and the verifiable credentials eco-system he has developed is simple to administer, lightweight and standards conforming, supporting: X.509, TLS, WebAuthentication (FIDO2) and Json Web Tokens. It is one of the few verifiable credential eco-systems that does not require non-standard blockchains, zero knowledge proofs or distributed identifiers.
Together, we have won grants of up to €212k from the European Union’s Self Sovereign Identity Lab for the project. Resonate has also won a further grant from the EU Next Generation Internet ‘TRUST’ programme.