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Short Description

Self-Sovereignty is the characteristic of every party that it is autonomous in managing and operating its own knowledge, particularly in making decisions and deciding how to decide.


The background of our understanding of 'self-sovereignty' can be found in articles 8-10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), that state the rights of individuals regarding their privacy, and their freedoms to collect, process, store, and express information in a self-sovereign fashion, i.e. in a way that they can decide for themselves. This is without prejudice to Member States' laws that exist to protect their national security, public safety, the economic well-being of the country, health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, or to prevent disorder or crime.

The eSSIF-Lab vision extends these rights and freedoms - within the limits of the law - to public and private organizations. Thus, we say that individuals as well as public and private organizations (that we collectively refer to as 'parties') are self-sovereign, or autonomous.


The characteristic of self-sovereignty, that we attribute to every single party, has profound consequences. Here are a few:

Every party decides autonomously on the *meaning/definition of terms that it uses in an attempt to convey such meaning to other parties. The fact that such other parties also do this is a major cause of misunderstandings, as the same words may have different meanings for different parties. The eSSIF-Lab Terminology pattern provides a mental model and a mechanism that is aimed to detect such misunderstandings and resolve them.

Since every party is autonomous in its decision making, any argument that it uses for reaching a conclusion (decision) is subjective (=specific for that party). This implies that the kinds of data which a party needs in order to decide whether or not to commit to a transaction are subjective, as well as the data it needs in order to decide whether or not such data is valid to be used in such an argument.


The purpose of having the term Self-Sovereignty is to emphasize that every party is autonomous/self-sovereign and make people aware of the implications that this has.