- Jun 2021
Personal Property Has Not and Should Not Depend On TTPs For most of human history the dominant form of property has been personal property. The functionality of personal property has not under normal conditions ever depended on trusted third parties. Security properties of simple goods could be verified at sale or first use, and there was no need for continued interaction with the manufacturer or other third parties (other than on occasion repair personel after exceptional use and on a voluntary and temporary basis). Property rights for many kinds of chattel (portable property) were only minimally dependent on third parties – the only problem where TTPs were neededwas to defend against the depredations of other third parties. The main security property of personal chattel was often not other TTPs as protectors but rather its portability and intimacy. Here are some examples of the ubiquity of personal property in which there was a reality or at least a strong desire on the part of owners to be free of dependence on TTPs for functionality or security: Jewelry (far more often used for money in traditional cultures than coins, e.g. Northern Europe up to 1000 AD, and worn on the body for better property protection as well as decoration) Automobiles operated by and house doors opened by personal keys. Personal computers – in the original visions of many personal computing pioneers (e.g. many members of the Homebrew Computer Club), the PC was intended as personal property – the owner would have total control (and understanding) of the software running on the PC, including the ability to copy bits on the PC at will. Software complexity, Internet connectivity, and unresolved incentive mismatches between software publishers and users (PC owners) have substantially eroded the reality of the personal computer as personal property. This desire is instinctive and remains today. It manifests in consumer resistance when they discover unexpected dependence on and vulnerability to third parties in the devices they use. Suggestions that the functionality of personal property be dependent on third parties, even agreed to ones under strict conditions such as creditors until a chattel loan is paid off (a smart lien) are met with strong resistance. Making personal property functionality dependent on trusted third parties (i.e. trusted rather than forced by the protocol to keep to the agreement governing the security protocol and property) is in most cases quite unacceptable.
Personal property did not depend on trusted third parties
For most of human history personal property did not depend on Trusted Third Parties (TTP). To the extent that TTPs were needed, was to defend property from depredataions of other third parties.
Jewelry, automobile keys, house keys — these all show that humans had a preference for having sovereign access to their property, without relying on third parties.
This preference remains with us today and you can see it manifest itself in people's anger when they discover that part of their product is not owned by them.