Identity on the internet

I communicate therefore I have an identity

What is Welcomer?

Welcomer is Open Source Software that creates Virtual Identities.  It is an add-on to existing applications and requires minimal change to existing applications.

A Virtual Identity is more than an identifier. It includes why and how the data about a person, object (washing machine or house) or entity is used. Within Welcomer connections between Silos of data about the same thing are performed by Agents.  It is the sum of the connections made by these Agents that creates an Identity.

Agents can be grouped to create different Identities from the same data Silos.  The data from the same Silos can be used to create a Taxpayer, Pensioner, Patient, Resident of the ACT,  a Company,  a Trust, a Motor Car, or a House.  

Existing applications store data about Identities and perform actions on the data. Welcomer links the same data across applications and in linking creates a Virtual Identity through the use of Agents .

Outcomes from using Welcomer

  • With Welcomer individuals enter data once and reuse it for many purposes.  
  •  Simpler user interactions because data entry is reduced.
  • Consistent data across applications.
  • Distributed Ledgers
  • Automatic data federation across organisations.
  • The same data supports multiple Identities and multiple uses.
  • Makes Data open but with privacy and commercial in confidence restrictions.
  • Automatic Single Sign-On.
  • FIDO or Fast IDentity Online becomes the norm.
  • Temporary and Just in Time consolidation of data without centralised databases.
  • Software as a Service Applications are easier to deploy.

An Example

Many existing applications store data about Companies. A Company has BAS statements, ABN registration, ASIC records, Customer purchases, Supplier Records and Taxation Returns.  Welcomer creates virtual links to common content across these records so that applications for a Company have access to Company data no matter where it is held. Existing applications already identify Companies with an internal unique identity to distinguish one Company from another.  Welcomer creates a virtual link between these existing unique identities across applications. It also provides virtual links to the occurrences of a Company Name, to Company Directors, to Customer Sales etc.  

When a Welcomer enabled application is run the virtual links become real.  For example if an application requires a Company Director’s home address all the different home addresses in all other applications for the Director can be shown to the Director for selection. If there is a new address the Director enters it. All other applications with addresses are notified of any change via virtual links established at the application level.  

Welcomer acts on the information supplied by the organisation according to the organisation’s pre-defined rules.

The virtual links are known because organisations are required to register applications to become part of the Welcomer Virtual Network. Registration is made with any other organisation that is already part of the Welcomer Virtual Network.

Specifying Common Data

Welcomer requires each organisation responsible for the data held by applications to register the data elements in their applications that they are willing to share. The data that can be shared is made public but the rules around access are kept private.  The creator of the application specifies which data elements have the same meaning in one or two other applications in the Welcomer Virtual Network.  The Welcomer Virtual Network propagates "sameness" across all applications.

Control on the Sharing of Data 

When an Agent is a person then for privacy reasons the person needs to have control over data sharing.  The person gives consent by selecting the content it is willing to share.  Welcomer allows a person to enter their own rules on the linking of common data.  Those rules are stored in the Welcomer Network and are propagated across applications.

Organisations specify private rules to allow or not allow other applications or organisations to access data for which the organisation is responsible. For example the organisation can specify that competitors cannot be given access to customer sales because it is commercial in confidence but that government can access data because the law requires it.

Identity through Agents

Applications act on data.  The Welcomer application acts on data across silos of data about the same identity.  These Welcomer actions are called Agents. The Identity of a Thing comes from the sum of Agent interactions on the same Thing. For example a building is a Thing but how the data about it is used gives it an Identity. A building can be a Factory, or a Home, or a Boarding House.  Identity is not just uniqueness but it is the sum of the actions on a Thing across data silos through the use of Welcomer Agents.  Welcomer allows multifaceted Identities to be represented by the Welcomer data structures and the meaning given to data through the applications that use the data in different ways.

Making Applications Welcomer Enabled

1.     Applications are made Welcomer Enabled through the use of Welcomer Open Source applications.  Welcomer Open Source applications are installed from any other organisation that has Welcomer installed. The program to do the installation for another organisation comes with Welcomer.

2.     Applications and the data they will share are registered with any Welcomer Enabled organisation.  The registration information is made available to any other application through the Welcomer Virtual Network. 

3.     The organisation installing the application specifies its own rules on what applications, organisations and Agents can access the information stored by the application.