Guest Blog: Alen Horvat Attends EIC 2022 as Kim Cameron Award Recipient

Published July 12, 2022

The Kim Cameron Award program, initiated by the OpenID Foundation in 2022, is an essential step in evolving the global digital identity community. I’m genuinely honoured to be one of the first Award recipients, for my work and contributions are recognised.

My digital identity journey began in the decentralised digital identity space. It expanded towards global trust frameworks and digital credentials exchange, all to the federated authentication, identification and high-LoA use cases. At the time of writing, we are finalising EBSI, one of the most advanced verifiable credentials exchange frameworks.

The program gave me the opportunity to attend EIC 2022, meet the giants of the digital identity space, and learn from the best in the field. The most important takeaway is that the paradigm shift finally happened: user-centric identity and digital credentials exchange are becoming fundamental for the evolution of digital identity. But to scale and enable exchanging digital credentials across domain boundaries, we must be able to assure verifiers can trust the information.

At EIC, we could learn who are the key enablers and drivers of the evolution: the European Digital Identity (EUDI) program that is transforming Europe’s digital identity, mDL that enables driver’s license digitalisation, EBSI that established a framework for trusted verifiable credentials exchange, OpenID Connect’s work on standardisation of Verifiable Credentials exchange, Global Assured Identity Network (GAIN) authentication and identification with highest assurance levels on a global scale, Open Identity Exchange (OIX) for assurance-level and policy matching and mapping, TrustOverIP (ToIP) for the next-generation trusted internet, and others. Global trust, assurance, interoperability and user-centric identity are vital elements that lead to an open digital identity.

EIC sparked an exciting evolution of the policy-as-code. Policy-as-code is extensively used for IAM on the infrastructure level; Can it be applied to verifiable credential validation. Today, most policies are hard-coded, and it is not easy to use dynamic policies, which are crucial for scaling the open digital identity. At EIC, we attested the idea with the founders of the Open Policy Agent project and concluded that we can apply policy-as-code to verifiable credentials today.

OpenID Foundation also released a whitepaper, OpenID for Verifiable Credentials, that presents and describes the verifiable credentials exchange status, standards, use cases, and existing frameworks. Verifiable credentials enable exchanging verifiable attestations (across domains) in a privacy-preserving and easily-verifiable way. To scale, trust and interoperability on a global scale still need to be established. The work of ISO, GAIN, ToIP, EBSI, OIX, OpenID Foundation and other organisations and frameworks is crucial to achieving the goal. One of the hottest topics currently under the radar is privacy-preserving revocation.

I’m grateful to OpenID Foundation for the Kim Cameron program that helped me learn, connect, build bridges, and answer and open many exciting questions. Let’s shape our digital future together, one step at a time.

Alen Horvat
Blockchain and SSI Solutions Researcher and Architect