Verifiable Claims (An Introduction)

An important part of human ‘identity’ is the way claims are made about a person, and in relation to a person.  Claims related ‘instruments’ are used throughout society, as to be relied upon in association to many interactions.

The W3 community group ‘credentials‘ was established to support works designed to deliver outcomes required in this area.

Part of related works produced include the open-badge version 2 specification which can be found here.

These works make use of RDF and URIs to support the development and use of claims made between an authority of some sort, and what may be called ‘the data subject’;  For instance,

A person has a bankcard that supports their needs to make payments.  The banking card is owned by the financial institution providing the financial instrument or ‘card’.  The purpose of it being provided to the person, is to support their means to use the card to make use of their bank-account.


A Birth Certificate is issued most-often, by a government. The ‘subject’ of that document is the person whom the certificate provides evidence about in relation to their birth.  The information presented by a birth certificate includes statements about whether or not the person is over a certain age (ie: over 18 or over 21), where they were born / nationality, who their parents were, etc.

A Postage Stamp

A postage stamp is applied to a item that is sent through the post.  The stamp, and related markings made by the postage service provider assists in verifying that envelope (and its contents) have been sent through the mail system at a particular point in time, etc.


RDF based ‘verifiable claims’ provide the means to employ 3rd party, claims made in relation to people; as a constituent of the semantics employed in running, processing and subsequently presenting a query.