Getting started with Self Developer

Getting Started

Here's how to get set up on our Developer Hub.

Follow the instructions below, download our Android app from the Play Store (iOS will be released shortly) and work through the quick start guide to familiarise yourself with Self and the Self Network.

1. DOWNLOAD SELF

Everything starts with the Self app. Download it to your Android phone and join the Self Network to set up your personal account.

Get it on Google Play
Self screenshot: Add facts to your Self from one of these sources

2. VERIFY YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS


You'll need to verify at least your email address to register a developer account on the Self Network.

3. Go to our Developer Portal

Now you can use Self to access our developer portal immediately.

Developer portal
Self scanning a QR code to create a connection
Self Authorise fact sharing screenshot

4. Complete your self developer regIstration

We ask you to share your name and email with us from Self (we don't have it already – it's safely stored in your Self app)

5. GET UP TO SPEED WITH OUR QUICKSTART GUIDE


We've put together a comprehensive guide to get you up to speed in under half an hour, with sample code in Ruby, Go and shortly Typescript.

Self code samples in Ruby, Go and Typescript

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to commonly asked questions
What do you mean 'facts' can be stored in Self?

A fact is really just a piece of information about you. The most basic facts that Self stores are the ones you use to sign up: your email address, street address, your phone number, date of birth the personal details on your passport or driving license.

If a fact has been verified as being true by an authoritative third party it will be marked with a ticked shield.

You can only share facts over the Self Network which have been verified, so you should try to get as many facts verified as possible.

How is this useful? Imagine if you've just finished a foreign language course – the course providers could attest to the fact that you've achieved a level of competence in French, and you could store this as a verified fact in Self. That would mean you could use that fact in the future, for example when registering on a job platform, so potential employers know that someone they can trust says that "Oui, ils peuvent parler français!" ("Yes, they can speak French!")

One important thing is that someone doesn't need to know the details to know that a fact is true. If you're buying age restricted goods online, the retailer doesn't need to know your date of birth, they just need to know that you're over a certain age. This is a powerful way of protecting your data, while being able to prove useful things about yourself.

How does Self compare to Two Factor Authentication apps?

Self can be used as a factor in multi-factor authentication, but because Self is proving more than that you have access to some keys it delivers more value to the organisation requesting authentication than just an app. Self can tell them that it's the specific person who should be being given access in real time. It can also add to that payload things like whether the person being authenticated has passed a KYC check and if they are the same person as the one who did the previous KYC check. Giving the organisation authentication with real value in real time.

How do I back up the data I have in Self?

All data stored in Self is encrypted on your mobile device. Any data you share is backed-up to your phone's cloud backup (e.g. iCloud or Google Drive) in a location nominated by you during the sign up process. The backups of your data and account details will be encrypted end-to-end and then stored encrypted in your device's cloud backups,

The data you store in your Self app is all backed up when you perform your usual phone backups, to Apple iCloud, Google Drive or whichever system you use. As these backups are also encrypted, it means that your backups can only be accessed by you.

That's why when you create your Self account we give you a recovery key. Keep a secure record of this, it is what will let you get your data back if you lose access to it or to your account.

It is your responsibility to keep your phone, login details and recovery details safe, and to prevent others from having unauthorised access to your Membership details.

Which facts can I verify with Self?

Today we're supporting commonly requested information as facts, things like name and date of birth, but along side those we can provide meta data like 'age' or 'age range' and data sources like 'Passport' or 'Bank' so developers can bypass analysing personal data and head straight to answering the question they really needed an answer to. Like "Does Bob's drivers licence confirm he's between 25 and 70?"

But this is just the start; Developers building apps integrating with the Self Network can define the fields they need to see in Self – so as more organisations join the Self Network, they will be able to attest to more and more facts that people want to verify. Organisations like educational and professional development establishments verifying details of qualifications in Self; insurance companies can verify that you've got a current car insurance policy; proof of marketing permissions for GDPR and CCPA; access to a restricted research report; user managed credit ratings; even whether you've got a valid ticket to a gig.

We're excited to see what uses members of the Self Network come up with.

How much does Self cost?

Self is free to join as an individual user for personal use and the core features will always be free to you in the future.

Our business model is to charge the businesses using Self a small amount of money every time they ask to check a fact about you – such as your phone number, address, qualifications, passport number etc.

In the future we may release new features, which may carry a charge, but these will always be optional.

For full details of our pricing and packages, see our Pricing page.

How does Self compare to password storage apps like 1Password and LastPass?

Self can support passwordless technology thereby consigning the nightmare of managing passwords to the past. Authentication without the need for usernames, passwords or anything you need to remember – just being you is enough.

Why is is better to store my data on my phone than in the cloud?

Security, security, security.

Data stored in ‘the cloud’ is actually stored on servers located all over the world. These servers can be accessed from absolutely anywhere and the data on them is only as safe as the humans that set up the protection around them. As many recent high profile data breaches have shown (Twitter, British Airways, Zoom, the list goes on), these security measures are simply not up to the task of keeping out ever more skilled and ambitious hackers.

If your data is stored on your phone, it can’t be hacked like this. The fingerprint or face scan you use to unlock your phone is almost impossible to hack and, so is the data itself. What's more, hacking a big database with a million records in it is worth a hacker's effort, hacking a single phone just isn't.

The other issue with allowing companies to store your personal data is that once you’ve given a company some of your personal information, it’s easy to forget what you’ve shared with them and impossible to control how they use it. This misuse of data is becoming more widespread as businesses try to squeeze more and more value out of the information that they hold about their customers.

When you store your data on your device YOU remain in complete control of that information. You decide exactly which pieces of data to share with a company and you will be able to decide precisely what they can use it for and how long they can keep it.

What does Early Bird mean?

Early bird is our way of giving advanced access to Self technologies to people and companies who start working with it first. IF you're an early bird, first, thank you. Second you'll be getting early access to more features in the future, so it's not just good being ahead now, you'll stay ahead.

When will the iOS version be released?

It's in development, we've been building Android and iOS in parallel, but in common with many Apps we released the Android version first so people could start using it as soon as possible while we readied the iOS release. We will let you know as soon as it's ready to go live.

Any more questions?

We know  that Self is a new way of doing things, so we'd love to hear what you think, and what you'd like to use it for.

Contact us