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What is a Web of Trust?

A Web of Trust is a decentralized, online identity verification system that is authenticated by ratings given by participants in interlinking reputation networks.

Overview

What it is: A Web of Trust is a an identity management system that provides each user with a single, lifelong digital decentralized identifier (DID). This credential is respected by all the sites in that system because it is verified and scored by trusted peers.

What it does: Webs of Trust take identity-based authentication out of the hands of large institutions and crowdsources it. Ideally this system incorporates the best of community and individuality, allowing us to reach out for help in establishing trust and to retain a tighter grasp over privacy.

Why it matters: Despite a rocky past, this democratized solution has several advantages over those advanced by centralized authorities, including greater portability, control of private data, and protection against a corporate profit motive.

What to do about it: Webs of Trust offer a way for consumers to take control of their identity vis-a-vis corporate entities, at least in principle (these are early days). So, businesses could see them as an element of building trust relationships with customers.

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