Self-Sovereign Commerce (VRM, Me2B) Progress Report & TBD’s

From IIW

Self Sovereign Commerce, VRM / Me2B progress and TBDs

Wednesday 9F

Convener: Doc Searles

Notes-taker(s): Kurt Milne

Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered:

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

Summary - The online commerce universe has been sucked into black hole of surveillance commerce.

1995 netscape - ecommerce - why not take shopping cart from 1 site to another 

Project VRM - now in 13th year

Evangelism project - goal to get market moving

Berkman Klein Center - internet and society at Harvard University

Have wiki - top level list of development

573 subscribers

VRM = Vendor Relationship Management

VRM goals, principles, tools

Progress and TBDs - link list

Picos - DiD enabled

PIco labs dot org

Now can do zero knowledge proof with your things

Consumer attitudes changing

  • Care about privacy
  • Care about self sovereignly - aka “agency"
  • Rejecting surveillance capitalism
  • Pushing for laws and regulations

Building community

What hasn’t worked:

  • Not much analyst attention
  • Little investment
  • No developer coherence around category label VRM
  • No succession plan

Customer commons - knock off  Creative Commons

World wide association of customers

Me2B alliance


Me2B - certification mark for consumers to indicate if technology product is a good actor - fairness, fair trade.

Start with code of practice - going to interoperability spec

Goal 10 vendors on board this year

Focus on consumer, not B2B

Various categories 

Q: Idea - add to peer review/ end user review sites? 






Social contract - ground in universal principles

  • Comprehends manners and norms
  • Inform with codes of practice

Ad tech - Behavioral based online advertising - soon to be regulated

Wish list:

  • Publishers - OK to show advertising if not tracking
  • Tent casting - where we choose to be qualified leads we control
    • Minimum disclosure for agreed use
  • Infra for zero knowledge proofs
    • Building up to zero knowledge commerce
      • Disrupts surveillance economy
      • No single actor has all info - commerce, shipping etc.
      • Verifiable credentials
      • Zero knowledge credential eco system

Discussion - shift to seller oriented benefits

Not. Business model for Zero Knowledge Commerce

Make more money without tracking

Getting paid for data, and getting better value with better data

Data connectivity wins over data aggregation

Control that data stays in a certain context

Discussion - shift back to consumer protection

Sellers doing something today - that we want them to stop doing

What framework do we need to make those changes

Framing - evolution of problems

Labor laws, food safety laws, privacy laws

Consumer evil create by new technology

Right way to make right sales - more data

Cost of data exceedingly low

Damage capability of correlating data - skyrocketing

Study - Terms of service click through - if restate as “the implications of this agreement are …” agreement rates go down.

Cheap fast toxic relationship

Chem industry- large benefit, but need to control risk and cost

Treat customer data as toxic 

Cryptographically provable - ripe for abuse

  • Pete's example - collect data on Doc - never use the data to improve service
  • Trader Joe’s - strategic choice to not collect and use customer data (? Any)

Getting and retaining you - driven by how fast you would customize 

Zero incentive to not do that.