Comment fields in the User ID [was: Re: Help me to import my secret key please]

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at
Mon May 17 21:11:41 CEST 2010

On 05/17/2010 12:47 PM, MFPA wrote:
> Nearly 20% of the keys in my keyring have something in the User ID
> that is clearly not part of a person's identity.
> What would you say was a non-dubious use of the "comment" field within
> the User ID?

I've been asking myself the same question; i haven't come up with a
clear answer.  The closest i've come is when someone uses the comment
field to state an organizational affiliation specifically for use with
that key, to differentiate from another key, such as:

   Maria Lopez (Foo Corp. Administrator) <maria at foocorp.example>

   Maria Lopez (Personal Use) <maria at lopez.example>

Even these messages might be better stored some other way, though.  For
example, as OpenPGP notations in the self-signature.

What do you think?  When are comments in the User ID field actually useful?


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