Socio-Technological Coaching

SHIFT SESSIONS Vol. 2: Data Sovereignty Based On Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI)

Data Sovereignty

Data sovereignty is the idea that data are subject to the laws and governance structures within the nation it is collected. The concept of data sovereignty is closely linked with data security, cloud computing and technological sovereignty. Unlike technological sovereignty, data sovereignty is specifically concerned with questions surrounding the data itself. Data sovereignty is usually discussed in relation to trans-national, and trans-organisational, data flows. With the rise of cloud computing, many countries, and subsequently organisations, have passed various laws and rules around control and storage of data, which all reflects measures of data sovereignty. Many countries have some sort of data sovereignty laws in place, and various types of public and private organisations.

Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI)

With Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI), the individual identity holders can fully create and control their credentials, although a nation can still issue a digital identity in that paradigm.

SSI is an approach to digital identity that gives individuals full control of their digital identities. SSI addresses the difficulty of establishing trust in an interaction. In order to be trusted, one party in an interaction will present credentials to the other parties, and those relying parties can verify that the credentials came from an issuer that they trust. In this way, the verifier’s trust in the issuer is transferred to the credential holder.

For an identity system to be self-sovereign, users control the verifiable credentials that they hold and their consent is required to use those credentials. This reduces the unintended sharing of users’ personal data. This is contrasted with the centralized identity paradigm where identity is provided by some outside entity, so-called trust providers.

In early 2021, the German government has accelerated its efforts to create data sovereignty in Germany. It has mandated several representative organizations to develop SSI-based use cases in several industries, such as tourism, the hotel industry, or mobility.

Shift Sessions Vol. 2 – Roundup

In this Shift Session, we explain the foundational technological aspects of a Self-Sovereign Identity architecture. Based on an in-depth practical experience with SSI technology, especially with regards to GAIA-X, we discuss the decentralized identity architecture impact on the business landscape in general and your industry. Based on your insights into your enterprise and the market you’re in, we envision how you and your company can leverage SSI technology to ensure data sovereignty and achieve operating excellence leveraging decentralized digital identities.

After the Shift Sessions, you will have mastered SSI fundamentals. You will have gained a strong basis for discussing with other executives, engineers, and investors. You can create ideas for new business approaches based on decentralized digital identities and orchestrate or trigger joint strategies with competitors or other market participants.

Shift Sessions Vol. 2 – Topics

In this Shift Session, technological, business, organizational, legal,  and regulatory aspects of SSI will be discussed and put into a broader context.

  • Technology: SSI is a decentralized identity architecture allowing the exchange of verifiable credentials. These aspects and their impact will be discussed and compared to existing centralized identity solutions.
  • Business: Due to its decentralized architecture, SSI differs from other identity concepts regarding their potential of allowing for a contextualized, ad-hoc ability to contract. SSI’s impact on the cost side, as well as the revenue side, will be discussed.
  • Organization: In contrast to traditional organizations, SSI inherits the need for a Blockchain / DLT-based governance model that lays the base for all network decisions. We discuss the Institutional Role Model (IRM) as a foundational layer for governance elements and what is needed to exchange decentralized verifiable credentials sustainably or create and organize a respective Blockchain-based consortium.
  • Legal/Regulatory: A decentralized organization with an SSI architecture has to comply with laws and regulations that have been initially designed for centralized entities. We explain how existing European rules and laws and SSI fit together.

About Shift Sessions Vol.2 The Impact of Blockchain on the Business Landscape

This Shift Session is being organized under the patronage of the European Blockchain Association e.V., which provides theoretical and practical expertise in its Self-Sovereign Identity Working Group EUSSI. Professors of Technical University Munich TUM, Zeppelin University, and htw Saar, provide academic coaching, and SSI Architects of Datarella GmbH provide practical coaching.

Academic Lead: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Prof. Dr. Horst Wieker
Business Lead: Michael Reuter

If you are responsible for overseeing and /or managing a company, and you feel the need to learn more about Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) and its diverse future impacts on your enterprise, feel free to contact us to arrange for your personal coaching Shift Session: