Identity Certificate is an electronic document (a Certificate
) used to prove ownership of a Public Key
In general, ALL certificates in a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), are Identity Certificates.
The certificate includes information about the Public Key, information about its owner's identity, and the Digital Signature of an entity that has verified the certificate's contents are correct.
- If the Digital Signature is valid
- and the person examining the certificate trusts the signer,
- then they know they can use that key to communicate with its owner.
In a typical Public Key Infrastructure
), the signer is a Certificate Authority
(CA), usually a company that charges customers to issue certificates
In a Web of Trust
, the signer is either the Public Key
's owner (a self-signed Certificate
) or other users ("endorsements") whom the person examining the certificate might know and trust
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