Re: [VCARDDAV] Signed vCards

DataPacRat <datapacrat@gmail.com> Sun, 14 July 2013 04:28 UTC

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Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 00:28:47 -0400
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From: DataPacRat <datapacrat@gmail.com>
To: Eliot Lear <lear@cisco.com>
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Subject: Re: [VCARDDAV] Signed vCards
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After some thought, there does seem to be at least one use case where
having CONFIDENCE fields for any vCard property may be troublesome: when
the confidence level is below 50%, and when the software reading the card
isn't specifically design for vCards.

One of the handiest things about vCards is that no matter which version is
being used, it's fairly safe for a piece of reader software to simply
ignore any tags or fields that it doesn't understand. However, a signed
vCard written to revoke an association with an ID string, such as by using
a DATE field with a low CONFIDENCE field, could break this; as the card is
expressing the opposite of a piece of identity, but ignoring the unknown
fields could lead a piece of software to conclude the opposite.

I'm not sure that it's possible to easily resolve this issue, since dealing
with such complicated identities is the whole point of my proposal. As a
first thought - would it help to adjust the version number for signed
vCards, such as from "4.0" to "4.0s"?


On Wednesday, 10 July 2013, DataPacRat wrote:

> I've been sorting through my notes, and come up with a possible change to
> the signed vCard proposal, which seems significant enough to solicit
> comment on before I proceed further.
>
> What I see as the core of using signed vCards to improve identity
> declarations, is the CONFIDENCE property. In the current design, it's
> applied solely to the AUTHORITY field, to indicate how confident that
> authority is that all of the info signed in the vCard is accurate, and
> describes the individual/group/etc in question. Due to the nature of
> confidence measurements, I've been getting ready to use negative numbers of
> decibans, with short vCards, for revocations (eg, "I'm no longer at this
> email address").
>
> However, an alternate approach would be to have CONFIDENCE, like DATE, be
> applicable to any field. This would allow a single signed vCard to contain
> fields of different confidence levels ("I'm 80% sure this is his Twitter
> account, and 60% sure this is his email address"). Combining it with DATE
> allows for even easier descriptions of when which accounts are being used,
> and which aren't. (As a practical example: announcing revocations of a PGP
> public key, after misplacing the private one.) However, this does come at
> the cost of a mild increase in complexity; and there may be further
> ramifications or improvements worth discussing.
>
> So: changing CONFIDENCE to be a generic modifier: good idea or bad idea?
>
>
>
> --
> Thank you for your time,
> --
> DataPacRat
>


-- 
Thank you for your time,
-- 
DataPacRat