[Smcwg-public] Common Name contents

Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) dzacharo at harica.gr
Mon Mar 7 17:57:53 UTC 2022

Unless CAs have some clear rules on how to validate pseudonyms, I also 
believe we should exclude this attribute from the allowed profiles which 
makes this attribute practically not allowed. We must be explicit about 
this because other attributes may be allowed.


On 7/3/2022 9:41 π.μ., Adriano Santoni via Smcwg-public wrote:
> We do not support pseudonyms, and do not think there is a need for them.
>> ...we could even chose to exclude this attribute from the allowed 
>> profiles
> Yes, that's what we suggest to do: exclude this attribute from the 
> allowed profiles.
> Adriano
> Il 02/03/2022 18:43, Stephen Davidson via Smcwg-public ha scritto:
>> Hi Doug:
>> 1. Further to our discussion today, the language in ETSI EN 319 412-2 
>> probably has the clearest definition:
>> The commonName attribute value shall contain a name of the subject. 
>> This may be in the subject's preferred presentation format, or a 
>> format preferred by the CA, or some other format. Pseudonyms, 
>> nicknames, and names with spelling other than defined by the 
>> registered name may be used.
>> NOTE 1: The commonName attribute has a usage purpose that is 
>> different from the required choice of pseudonym or givenName/surname. 
>> commonName is used for user friendly representation of the person's 
>> name, whereas givenName/surname is used where more formal 
>> representation or verification of specific identity of the user is 
>> required. To maximize interoperability both are considered necessary.
>> It does not give guidance on the scope for “user friendly 
>> representation of the person's name” and as far as I can tell, most 
>> TSPs apply either (givenName and surname) or pseudonym in that field.
>> Notwithstanding this, our previous discussions had been for the 
>> commonName to include verified information for the purposes of the 
>> S/MIME BR, leading to the options described here 
>> <https://github.com/cabforum/smime/blob/preSBR/SBR.md#71422-subject-distinguished-name-fields>.
>> *_We are interested in hearing perspectives from both Certificate 
>> Issuers and Certificate Issuers on this point._*
>> 2.  The handling of subject:pseudonym is still an unresolved issue – 
>> and so text still needs to be tightened up. We are working from the 
>> basis that Subject information must be verified, so this would also 
>> apply to pseudonym (ie not a self reported name). Pseudonym identity 
>> is, by definition, linked to the person’s real identity
>> ETSI TS 199 461 tries to deal with it by saying:
>> Although the outcome of the identity proofing can be a pseudonym 
>> identity, identity proofing requires identification of the real 
>> identity of the person as determined by applicable identity 
>> documents, official registers or other authoritative sources.
>> But as far as I can tell, only Germany provides pseudonym as an 
>> information attribute on official identity documents.  Given the lack 
>> of clarity, we could even chose to exclude this attribute from the 
>> allowed profiles.
>> *_We’d be interested to hear from Certificate Issuers _ **_what their 
>> practices are using the pseudonym in regulated certificate types._*
>> Best, Stephen
>> Stephen Davidson
>> DigiCert Governance, Risk & Compliance
>> stephen.davidson at digicert.com
>> O 1.441.278.2803 | M 1.441.505.4908
>> ||
>> *From:* Doug Beattie <doug.beattie at globalsign.com>
>> *Sent:* Wednesday, March 2, 2022 1:10 PM
>> *To:* Stephen Davidson <Stephen.Davidson at digicert.com>; SMIME 
>> Certificate Working Group <smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
>> *Subject:* Common Name contents
>> Hey Stephen,
>> During the call today it was mentioned that all of the subject info 
>> pulled from the certificates and displayed via GUI needs to be 
>> validated (no more OU logic). I went back and looked at the options 
>> for Sponsor validated certs and it permits the Pseudonym to be 
>> present in the CN.
>> I went to check the rules for validation and found this:
>> f. *Certificate Field:* |subject:pseudonym| (
>> *Contents:* The pseudonym attribute MUST NOT be present if the 
>> givenName and/or surname attribute are present. If present, the 
>> |subject:pseudonym| field field MUST be verified according to Section 
>> 3.2.3 
>> <https://github.com/cabforum/smime/blob/preSBR/SBR.md#323-authentication-of-individual-identity>.
>> But I could not find any references to this field in that section, or 
>> section 3.2.4 that indicates how this is to be validated.  Are there 
>> CA validation rules for this, or can any value be supplied?
>> Doug
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