[OpenID board] Fwd: [community] from W3C….Fwd: Proposal: "User" header field

Nat Sakimura sakimura at gmail.com
Wed Jul 17 23:06:28 UTC 2013


I am forwarding the mail in the identity commons list.

Apparently, there is an initiative at W3C proposing a new "identity"
header, which I believe is actually harmful for the general public. Simple
web sites are going to take it as authenticated identity and thus will
cause identity theft of their users.

Their proposal is to include

  User: http://this.is.the/user/identifier

in the HTTP header.

Could those of you active in W3C reach out to them?

As I have written below, if it were to just include the IdP address as a
hint, I am kind of fine.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kaliya "Identity Woman" <kaliya-lists at identitywoman.net>
Date: 2013/7/18
Subject: Re: [community] from W3C….Fwd: Proposal: "User" header field
To: Nat Sakimura <sakimura at gmail.com>
Cc: "community at lists.idcommons.net" <community at lists.idcommons.net>

Yes Nat,  Thats sort of what I got from reading it.

Who among us is very active in the W3C world?

If no one should we be figuring out who should be?

Should we write them a letter asking them to send "identitish" proposals to
IIW? or other forums for good input?

Maybe we should write something that is like understanding identity basics
for technical specification folks across a range of standards bodies?

- Kaliya

On Jul 17, 2013, at 3:32 AM, Nat Sakimura wrote:

Whoa, what's that?!

That's not only useless but actually harmful.

I can kind of see some utility in sending the IdP address, but not the

=nat via iPhone

On Jul 16, 2013, at 7:39, "Kaliya \"Identity Woman\"" <
kaliya-lists at identitywoman.net> wrote:

Hi folks,
 Apparently the W3C wants to send "user" names along in HTTP headers.
  I thought some folks who know about identity and how it does/could/should
work might be up for chiming in over there.
  It seems like Authentication of identity might be a good thing rather
then just assertion.
 - Kaliya

Begin forwarded message:

*From: *Christine

As you know, I'm a big proponent of open standards. For this reason I
monitor many groups. You might be interested in the W3C Read Write Web
community group: http://www.w3.org/community/rww/

I sent you a message a few weeks ago about Tabulator.

See below messages about User header field. If you are not already a
member, I recommend you join and contribute!


-------- Original Message --------  Subject: Re: Proposal: "User" header
field  Resent-Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2013 16:19:02 +0000  Resent-From:
public-rww at w3.org  Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2013 12:08:37 -0400  From: Joe
<presbrey at gmail.com> <presbrey at gmail.com>  To: Melvin Carvalho
<melvincarvalho at gmail.com> <melvincarvalho at gmail.com>  CC: public-rww
<public-rww at w3.org> <public-rww at w3.org>

Great job Melvin!

 Data.fm sends the User header already :)

On Jul 13, 2013, at 10:55 AM, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho at gmail.com>

  I would be nice to be able to identify a user in HTTP, especially with
read/write protocols and access control, it can be important to know who is
trying to change something.

There has been some discussion on whether the "From" header can be used to
identify a user in HTTP, and my from most people is that this would be a
good candidate to send a user, but for historical reasons it's limited to
email, and changing this would perhaps get some pushback from the IETF.

The suggestion has been to choose another header, so I thought that "User"
might be a good candidate, since we have User Agent arleady.

 Here's the proposed text:


The User request-header field, if given, SHOULD contain an identifier for
the human user who controls the requesting user agent. The address SHOULD
be machine-usable, as defined by the "URI General Syntax" RFC 3986

       User   = "User" ":" URI

An example is:

       User: http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/card#i

This header field MAY be used for logging purposes and as a means for
identifying the source of invalid or unwanted requests. It SHOULD NOT be
used as an insecure form of access protection. The interpretation of this
field is that the request is being performed on behalf of the person given,
who accepts responsibility for the method performed. In particular, robot
agents SHOULD include this header so that the person responsible for
running the robot can be contacted if problems occur on the receiving end.

The client SHOULD NOT send the User header field without the user's
approval, as it might conflict with the user's privacy interests or their
site's security policy. It is strongly recommended that the user be able to
disable, enable, and modify the value of this field at any time prior to a


 Feedback welcome!

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Nat Sakimura (=nat)
Chairman, OpenID Foundation
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