Posts Tagged ‘Technology/Internet’

DRM and managing my own damn rights

May 4th, 2012
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Day Against DRM (poster)Today, 4 May, is a Day Against DRM, digital rights management. DRM is a technology imposed on published materials to keep you locked into one specified device or one particular use. The idea is to make something scarce, limited, and controlled by the industry. This means I can only “use” something like a book or DVD or music under their rules.

The problem is that my life isn’t arranged or prioritized under rules that promote an over-reaching industry. If I buy a book on my phone but later find that I want to read it on a tablet, I don’t personally want to buy a second copy for that purpose. I want to device-shift, or time-shift (view when I wish), or browser-shift, or use the content I purchase in ways that enrich my life without becoming a criminal in the process.

As author Cory Doctorow points out,

Your browser “converts” all sorts of graphic formats — GIF, JPEG, PNG, etc — without ever calling your attention to it. You need to take some rather extraordinary steps to find out which format of the graphics on your screen right now are using. Unless you’re a web developer, you probably don’t even know what the different formats are, nor what their technical differences are. And you don’t need to.

Here’s a list of DRM-free resources at the Defective by Design site. Happy Day Against DRM!

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IIW14: Experian’s Data Wallet

May 2nd, 2012
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Experian has credit data on 220 million users in the US, including every debt that you have incurred, liens, bankruptcies, etc. Credit data can’t be used for marketing, per US law, but it appears they’re finding a way around this? They know with good accuracy (information gathered from cookies, data tracking, also they have data scientists) a lot about us, including if we have a cat or dog, lots of detail. Our speaker Anatoly is talking about offering a data wallet to access this data by consumers. says what info is tracking people and lets them opt out. They want to make this a free consumer-facing business with advertisement income. Also see Google Ad preferences. They’re trying to make it so you can use your Amazon info at Barnes and Noble, for example. They plan on offering an API to pull everything into your own datastore. Data isn’t “held” by Experian but is reached from sources and passed to customers.

Tremendous “creepy” factor addressed by Experian’s brand as trusted party. We’re in an education phase, they’re trying to position themselves as helping. However, research in UK shows that people are in depressed or in denial about how much and how deep the data collecting processes are. Suggestion that the first big player will be shot down (shoot the messenger), Experian is perceived as part of the problem and not the solution. Experian is looking to get 100 million users on this product. Possible direct-pay model as opposed to advertising. Wow.

Status is both strategic and conceptual. Experian is very committed to this.

Comparison with – they have done some interesting work but Experian is looking to be more holistic.

They intend to ouse a single persona for all data collected about a person, with capability to edit (similar to “don’t use this info”), trying to keep it low friction to use. Three cases for “privacy:” 1. they don’t care, 2. they care a little, and 3. they care a lot (10-20%). People in this room suggested that most young people don’t care, so we referred them to danah boyd for a better understanding of how much they care and insights into their practices.

Kaliya referred us to ENISA Study on Monetizing Privacy.

Question about competition: Anatoly wasn’t aware of other companies doing this level of work. William suggested that it was less about competition than about viability of the community. That’s the problem to resolve first.

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IIW14: Data, Carvoyant, and Getting to VRM

May 1st, 2012
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IIW14: VRM update

May 1st, 2012
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Doc Searls started out by listing many parts of this area on the whiteboard about VRM. As a principle, VRM makes us independent of organizations and better able to engage.

FOSS projects
Freedom Box
4th Parties
Personal Data stores/
Poroject VRM + research
Customer Commons
Trust frameworks
Intent-casting (pRFPs)
Music (industry)
Terms of Engagement
Personally-asserted prefs & policies
Information Sharing

We want to be able to work with CRM, not against.

Concerns: We’re losing more control, ability to manage our own data. We need better communications to be pro-active to be in control. Wondering how it will be commercially viable. VRM is a more efficient market to solve problems.

From solutions side, potentially inverting the info structure is very powerful–info from person to market (accuracy, intent, etc.). Actual known intent is a more powerful than guessing.

Everything that creeps us out is from bad guesswork. Enormous opportunity and a lot of money left on the table due to present market efficiencies. Newly trained quants being sucked up by miserable guesswork.

How does someone verify that another is who they are? Verified identity, trust and reputation, personal data stores to verify. There are many options.

It’s not just about business, not just about my wallet. It’s about relationships and conversations left on the table too. I want it easier to control my part of the world.

Example of a pharmaceutical company filled with doctors but company is run by marketing department. Or a large well-respected auto manufacturer that’s run by their IT department (who limits everything).

What are big catalyzing factors that will help this? We’re one invention away, the necessity that mothers invention. We’re all doing groundwork, necessary but not sufficient. Big orgs will cope, but it’s not their job.

Question: what will it take? Several things, but it gets down to the fact that it answers needs that we currently have in our data flow lives. Example: buying a car (a guy who just goes and gets one for a fee, buyer doesn’t have to deal with dealership. Kantara Info Sharing’s car buying user story illustrates what it might look like.)

It’s also about trust: giving a real phone number generated 50 calls re: health insurance. Same thing for moving. Intent is a big deal, and we’re being subbordinated by the needs of others. Most people have no knowledge or concern (yet) about creating personalized contracts and relationships. Also where do networks begin and end? Should be possible to use affiliated parties to fulfill interactions without ever revealing our identity. We want to do the whole spectrum of relationships, not just transactions.

If there’s a way to leverage personal identity, other aspects of this conversation forward, that would benefit everyone. Structural tools: opening up a channel (with user control) and intent-casting, other party’s reputation is affected, brings a bi-directional equality to the market. Where is control, ownership and leverage, and when does it start (young student playing sports)?

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I Shared What (the blog)

February 25th, 2012
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The blog at I Shared What?!? has ceased updating (for now) but the posts are still around. Since I authored many of the posts there, I’ve copied those posts to this blog for reference. Other posts were written or co-written by Joe Andrieu (the man behind I Shared What?!? and Show Me First–an app for displaying the information you’d share if you used Facebook’s tools to log into a third-party site), and can be found on Joe’s blog. A list of posts with local links follows. Read more…

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