Trust and Internet Identity Meeting Europe
2013 - 2020: Workshops and Unconference

TIIME 2015 Session 27: Decentralized authoritative business service discovery

Convener: Henrik Biering

Abstract: Decentralized discovery and resolution has been a key enabler for the cost effective technical infrastructure of the internet. For business services, however, mutual discovery has been relying on a small number of third party platforms.
Can the official national company registries serve as the basis for a decentralized authoritative registration of business services and reputation of companies?

Tags: Registries


Old situation:

Traditional local commerce: There is a number of people who know each other; each craftsman has a reputation (e.g., for the cheapest or best work), negotiation is possible.

Industrial age:

  • Company - marketing services


  • Sellers need intermediaries
  • Price gets high

The Internet is a global direct online commerce; connection. Buyers and sellers have systems to discover, evaluate, negotiate, and transact with each other.

The problem is to discover the consumers. They have privacy regulations and laws that protect them. Very expensive. If we try to turn it around - companies with their services, price lists etc. want to be discovered. --> How to do this in a way that is systematic?

Data driven business discovery

Domain names to IP addresses: Why not use exactly the same protocols?

EU root (EBR?) has consistent registry: each country has one or more business registers, e.g. Sweden (bolagsverket), Denmark, UK.

Discovery of a function where you enter a number and find a company.

Idea: domain name --> point at name server.

Six countries in Europe already have the open data policy --> in these countries you can download the whole protocol, without missing any numbers and download the service records.

Certificate from another organisation: your website is good for purposes XY.

Advantage: Totally distributed. Nobody can have a monopoly like Google has at the moment.

Implication: Company can make a cross-reference - can put a reference back

Audience1 (from the Netherlands):

Promoting digital single market. One of the steps you have to take: finding companies. Idea good of wanting to do more in this regard. Lots of people want to use tools they are familiar with that is why they use Google.

Empty layer. Many organisations are identified with a number. Solutions how you can get access to certain attributes. Thinking about a regress/response thing. Example: smart energy company. Has 24/7 access to? They need access to that information once per year. One can generate a specific key to access once for a certain period of time to fetch the data. The same principle can apply to attributes. You don't want to copy information but have access to it. The company can see who is able to have access. You need that level of security.

Convener: This could be one application. We want them all. Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. can't fetch it. Smaller companies could fetch it.

Audience1 (NL): What about creating A-servers to align all the traffic that doesn't store info?

Convener: Price comparison services. The company publishes a list.

Audience1 (NL): A lot of these websites don't store info. They just have links to the info they store. Just point to that.

Convener: But does this really matter?

Audience1 (NL): Yes

Convener: This would be generic. If you're for example a taxi driver, you give away some info like the price etc. Anyone in the world can find you. You're only online for people who want to find me. Win-win situation for taxi driver and consumer.

Two sided market - split it up: more costumers -> more competition. The service rates go down.

Data business authority

When invite banks -> they had other companies that got bank-robbed. Problem: people that want to make apps based on this. Extremely difficult if you want to do it for a whole business -> it becomes complicated.

Audience1 (NL): In the Netherlands, there's something called 'Kamer van Koophandel': Everyone has to register there. They already provide the servers to connect to browse their registry.

Convener: In Belgium, Ireland, Romania and other 3 countries, it's already possible.

Audience1(NL): web server, you don’t have connect with anything

Convener: The idea is that you get to search. If you want to put criteria into the search --> public data base. Say, I want to find companies with 10 employees who are dealing with shoes. The business code might not be accurate enough. Public information + info about 3rd party searchers.

Audience1 (NL): What about creating an additional server? Access through web servers. It would be nice to create servers for users and add ratings from Google etc.

Convener: Business server providers will do the task of providing (??)

2016 version for Denmark. Many small (start-up) companies are really eager to do SEO, reverse-linking, etc. how can you do demos directly and set things up? It would be helpful if people would start using this registry.

Audience1 (NL): In the NL you already have these servers. There's also an online community that is used in 38 countries. They can add coupons, specific attributes etc. to get better search engine results. It's an Australian-based company called 'odd frog' (?).

Audience2: The principle itself is great but there's already something similar available. In the EU there's a register called "LIFE" (?): want to have same kind of services.

bris B R I S: Gov people can have easier access. You can enter the ID in one place.

Audience1 (NL): For discovery, you need some type of registry. A lot of these services probably already exist. I don't know whether they are well-thought through, do they implement social media etc.?

To make a unique selling point for customers: You need to give them a reason to make them visit the pages. Good: if your company has a good rate in Google. Price comparison service should go farther than just comparing prices. Who gets special offers? E.g., restaurant: exclusively people that live near it should get offers.

Reputations for different sayings. This is the level I want to get at. E.g. sushi restaurant wants to reach a special customer with special traits.

Audience1 (NL): Concerning insurances, there's something called 'independor' (?) with which you can compare insurances. Possibility: they have their own connections with the insurance companies. If you could create a hub.

Convener: If you're a vendor, you need to be available on eBay as well as Amazon and pay for every of these services. The reason you use Amazon, eBay etc. is because you don't have private services.

'I have a user who wants to access your website'. Why do we do it stupidly on the business layer? Why not on the technical layer? The security has to be high, of course. Banks have to trust them. This also means that by now you don't need to have a 3rd party trust (very indirect) to document who you are. The second advantage is that there is no middle-man in the security chain.

Audience1 (NL): Let's assume a scenario. I'm a custumer, I want new brown leather shoes. How to do it? - I'm visiting two or three web shops. How would your proposal make it any different?

Privacy. You go to a shoe shop. You need to set to the shop's policies. Only when buying, you are registering. If you're not buying you don't need to register.

100 000 places to sell shoes. Only 10 000 comply with your personal privacy policies. Are you going to trade off your privacy for 10% cheaper shoes? Lots of criteria: what has to be known? E.g., location has to be in the record. What else is in the search engine?

Convener: Let's assume I'm visually impaired and there are websites certified by the organisation of the visually impaired. There'd be a better chance discovering companies that are relevant for me. Companies are spending too much money on Google, it's too much of a 'beauty contest' for companies.

There are lots of attributes in the structure but maybe only 5 apply to my standards. Is this service trustable to me, e.g. health care: calculating trust? Does it make sense to directly store it at the website? If you address the site with a service, you first check their trust policy --> not interesting for me.