- Case Number: a20090618.12
- Status: Closed
- Claimants: Ulrich Schroeter
- Respondents: Frans Steegh
Hi Support, I've assured Franciscus Hendrikus Jacobus Maria Steegh at ATE-Duesseldorf at May, 12th 2009. Above names i've seen in his IDcard and Drivers license. The Account that relates to the Email adress given on the CAP form states: Frans H.J.M. Steegh in the name field. The DoB is correct. The account has already 150 pts. I file a dispute about to correct the name as stated in the shown documents with full written first name: Franciscus instead of the short form "Frans" mit freundlichen Grüßen / best regards Ulrich Schroeter CAcert Event Organisation Officer
- Relief: To be determined
- Case Manager: Alexander Prinsier
- Arbitrator: Andreas Bäß
- Date of arbitration beginning: 2009-06-18
- Date of arbitration close: 2010-02-28
Before: Arbitrator Andreas Bäß (A). Respondent: Frans Steegh (R) Claimant: Ulrich Schroeter (C) Case: a20090618.12
- 2009-11-13 (A) Asked Claimant about email address of Respondent.
- 2009-12-09 (A) sent mail to support requesting list of people who assured (R)
- 2009-12-15 (CM) Sent mail to the 2 assurers who assured (R) the latest
- 2009-12-15 (CM) Received one correctly signed reply, waiting for the other.
- 2009-12-20 (CM) Received second correctly signed reply, however with a slightly different name. Asking A for progress
- 2010-01-04 Discussions on the #arbteam channel
- 2010-01-15 Respondant confirms that he prefers to keep the name in the account as it is
- 2010-02-02 Discussion about accepted country variations continues in the arbitration team
- 2010-02-05 Extra information received from (C)
- 2010-02-28 Extra information received from (C) and discussion continues with (C) about what is an accepted country variation and what is not.
- 2010-02-28 Ruling made
A. Introduction to the case
The claimant has filed a dispute because he found a difference between the names listed in the documents provided by the assuree/respondant for identification and his CAcert account. The assurers that have assured the respondant before confirmed the name difference but they did see no reason to not assure him as this is a daily practice in their country.
The assuree prefers to keep the name in the certificate as it is now because the name that he used in his CAcert account and the issued certificates is a common name variation.
During process of this case the following questions have been intensively investigated and discussed:
1. Is there any doubt in the identity that the account is controlled by the "right" individual? 2. Does the name in the account cause any problems? 3. Is it "illegal" and forbidden by binding rules?
Here is the summary about my findings to the above questions:
1. There is no doubt, that the CAcert account with the primary E-Mail address <anonymized> is controlled by the person who identifies himself as "Franciscus Hendrikus Jacobus Maria Steegh" and have choosen to put into his account "Frans H.J.M. Steegh". All assurers confirmed his identity.
2. To provide an easy guide to assurers the CAcert community has prepared a document called practice on names that provides a guiding line with a lot of examples which names can be accepted. Some people conclude from this guideline, that all variations not explicitely listed there are not acceptable. While there seems to bee an exact match between the requirements of section 2.1 and the Practice On Names document section 2.2 of the Assurance Policy is not well reflected in this document. The architects of the Assurance policy have decided no only to provide guidance for acceptable and inacceptable names but confirmed the existance of a grey area. The final decision if someone gets assured is placed at the assurer, depending upon his confidence to assure this person as requested.
3. There has been intensive and controversial discussions wether choosing a name that is not covered by the examples in the practice on names document is illegal by the rules of CAcert or not. The discussion showed that there are followers for considering this either wrong or no problem in several circumstances. The following decision might be followed by a new discussion if more clarification is needed or work to local communities to specifies their needs to cover their daily practice.
I hereby rule that it is not illegal for someone that could identify himself by official documents as "Franciscus Hendrikus Jacobus Maria Steegh" to keep a name of "Frans H.J.M. Steegh" in his CAcert account and hereby reject the request of changing the name as requested by the claimant because the account owner does not want it and I consider it covered by the assurance policy section 2.2 as a legal language or country variation.
C. Reasons for the decision
CAcert is operating in a multinational environment. The rules that affect all countries must be carefully checked if they respect the conventions of the CAcert community. In a lot of circumstances we have learned that some rules that work in some countries are a "no go" in other countries/regions. The Assurance Policy leaves no doubt that all examples that are given in the practice on names guide can be assured. However there is also an opener for choosing a name for the CAcert account in section 2.2 of the Assurance Policy which reads:
2.2. Multiple Names and variations In order to handle the contradictions in the above general standard, a Member may record multiple Names or multiple variations of a Name in her CAcert online Account. Examples of variations include married names, variations of initials of first or middle names, abbreviations of a first name, different language or country variations, andtransliterations of characters in a name.
The term "different language or country variations" is not explained in other documents. So it provides a grey zone to assurers if they accept the name variation beeing covered by the names and local conventions or not. This judgement is not that much different wether he accepts an older picture in the ID card or a accepts a signature that seems to have changes over time.
Although the practice on names has reached some maturity it is has so far no statements about tha nature and content of language and country variations of names. Choosing a language or country variation to be put into the first or middle name field during CAcert account creation has some consequences though:
1. The assuree that have choosen this name variation should be aware of the fact that this might cause problems when asking for assurance by someone who is potentially not familiar with those local name variations. The assurer might not assure him or even file a dispute.
2. Assurers that assure people from other localities should be aware of the risk that small variations could create a different identity and therefore refuse to issue points just like if they have problems matching the person by the photo or signature provided. It's up to the assurers judgement if she or he feel the need to file a dispute, because they think someone is trying to create a "fake" account, or just to not assign any points to the assuree because she or he is feeling uncomfortable.
There are several parts of the current CACert where "country variations" of a latin name is varied to the present modern form of the name. There might be other countries currently not so well represented in CAcert which may make use of this part of the Assurance Policy. Other examples are persons that emigrate into another country and would like to adopt their name to the pendant/equivalent in that country.