The Payment-Privacy-Policing Paradox in Web Payments Systems

4 September 2014 - A Workshop on Other in Istanbul, Turkey


IGF 2014 sub theme that this workshop fall under

Emerging Issues


During IGF 2013, a session was held to discuss emerging issues related to fair trade and taxation of virtual goods. During the session, and throughout the week, issues related to the need for payment standards on the Web were raised. These issues were taken to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Technical Plenary (TPAC 2013) and discussed. The result of those discussions solidified into a plan to hold a global Web Payments workshop in 2014.

In March 2014, the W3C hosted the first ever Workshop on Web Payments in Paris, France. The result of the two day workshop was consensus around the desire to address a number of problems related to sending and receiving money on the Web. Potential standardization targets focused on identity, initiating payments, digital wallets, and verifiable digital receipts.

Trust is a fundamental part of many financial transactions, and while the role of establishing trusted identities on the Internet was seen as vital, it was clear that the policy discussion would require a more in-depth multi-stakeholder approach.

Ensuring that any identity standard will be flexible enough to 1) align with national and international laws, 2) protect privacy and anonymity, and 3) not aid mass surveillance initiatives, while 4) working in concert with international anti-terrorism-funding laws requires input from civil society, government, intergovernmental organizations, private sector, and the technical community.


1. An Introduction to Web Identity (15-20 minutes, by panelists)
2. Web Identity Use Cases (30 minutes, group discussion)
3. Privacy and Regulatory Concerns (30 minutes, group discussion)
4. Government Input and Coordination (15 minutes, group discussion)

Attendees are urged to watch the speaker presentations BEFORE the event as only a brief “less than 5 minute, no slides overview” will be provided for each during the event. In this “no presentations” 90 minute group work session, attendees will generate input that will be fed into this year's W3C Technical Plenary (October 2014). The input provided by the IGF community will include comments on what an Internet Identity system should and shouldn’t do from a technical, privacy, surveillance, taxation, and legal policy perspective.

Policy Questions

1. Should the Web/Internet have an extensible identity mechanism as a part of it's core architecture?
2. Should the identity mechanism be globally decentralized, centralized at each government, or something else?
3. Should privacy and pervasive monitoring be primary design concerns?
4. How should the technology interface with the regulatory environment in the nations in which it operates?
5. What regulatory hurdles does such a technology face?
6. Which groups and governments should have an ongoing interest in this activity?

[428 Words]

Name(s) and stakeholder and organizational affiliation(s) of institutional co-organizer(s)

Many Sporny
Technical Community
W3C Web Payments Community Group / Digital Bazaar

Pindar Wong
Private Sector
VeriFi ( Hong Kong ) Ltd.

Has the proposer, or any of the co-organizers, organized an IGF workshop before?


The link to the workshop report

Type of session

Group Word

Duration of proposed session

90 minutes

Subject matter #tags that describe the workshop

#identity, #payment, #privacy, #taxation, #standards

Names and affiliations (stakeholder group, organization) of speakers the proposer is planning to invite

Louise Bennett, Private Sector, BCS, Contacted and Confirmed

Norbert Bollow, Civil Society, Free and Open Source Software, Contacted and Confirmed

Mary Bold, Private Sector (Education Credential Verification), Accreditrust, Contacted and Confirmed

Jeremy Malcolm, Civil Society, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Contacted and Confirmed

Wendy Seltzer, Technical Community, W3C, Contacted and "Most Likely to Attend IGF"

Erik Anderson, Private Sector, Bloomberg, Contacted and Confirmed Remote Video (may attend in person)

Harish Nataranjan, Multilateral International Development Body, World Bank, Contacted and currently looking for a specific participant (may submit remote video)

Chris Riley, Technical Community, Mozilla, Contacted and Unconfirmed (may submit remote video)

Evan Schwartz, Technical Community, Ripple Labs, Contacted and determining if they will participate (may submit remote video)

Name of Moderator(s)

Pindar Wong

Name of Remote Moderator(s)

Manu Sporny (IRC channel)

Description of how the proposer plan to facilitate discussion amongst speakers, audience members and remote participants

All speakers will be required to record a short 10 minute video that will be available on the Internet for attendees to view BEFORE the event. A brief (less than 5 minute) overview without slides will be given by each speaker at the beginning of the group work session to ground the work and provide direction. The remainder of the 60 minutes will be dedicated to attendee participation and formation of input to take to the W3C Technical Plenary in October 2014. Input will be put in context by considering ‘Use Cases’ that will be translated into requirements at the W3C Technical Plenary.

Description of the proposer's plans for remote participation

A remote text chat channel (IRC, but with a Web interface) will be setup at W3C to scribe the session and provide input and questions from those that would like to participate remotely. We hope that this medium will allow those that do not prefer video and voice chat to participate and raise questions while the group work session is happening. All comments from speakers will be minuted into the chat channel to ensure that those following in the channel will be able to ask pertinent questions. The remote moderator will from time to time, read questions aloud that have been asked in the channel. A separate “Use Cases” scribe will capture use cases raised during the work session so that they may be recorded and taken to the W3C Technical Plenary as input to any future identity work.

Background paper

background paper

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