There is a purist approach to UCD in which individuals don’t need a UCD provider, and rely instead only on software installed only on their own device. While it might be possible to make this work technically, there are two main reasons why we think there is a need to involve UCD providers
The first is that software is never intrinsically trustworthy, secure or privacy-enhancing. Rather all these good things are the result of work by people and organisations, are communicated by some form of brand or trademark, and need to be paid for. Put otherwise, there is a need for infrastructure to have a coherent business model; and the best one (that we can find, anyway) relies upon service providers paying UCD providers small periodic relationship fees.
Second, humans are fallible: they forget passwords, and they forget to make backups. For most people, it makes sense to have a PDS provider help them ensure that they never lose their data, or access to it.