I provided the following copy to Respect Network for our announcement of my joining them as a consultant, and for your convenience, I'm re-posting it here.
"We believe the personal cloud ecosystem is essential to correct problems with existing online commerce and make way for better business models in a fully interconnected world. Without it, tensions will only increase between individual convenience, privacy and security. Long proclaimed, the death of passwords never arrived but the world of big personal data mines did. Repeated data spills of our personal information help fuel a wave of cybercrime; through breach after breach of personal databases we’re exposed not just to unwanted advertising, spam, SPIM and SPIT but also to identify fraud and worse.
Regulatory efforts to correct online commerce problems have been only partially effective. All too often they fail to curb the Facebooks and Googles of the world, but succeed all too well in adding complexity for ordinary consumers and businesses. That’s because regulation alone can’t correct a business problem when the problem is that the business model itself must evolve.
Fortunately, throughout human history dysfunctional situations dis-serving society don’t last, instead the pendulum swings in a new direction. Personal clouds have emerged as an alternative to privacy-erosive patterns. By pushing powerful security and privacy technology down to the individual level, personal cloud software and personal cloud networks will offer the long-awaited convenience and privacy not as trade offs against one another but as two mutually-reinforcing goods.
Think of a personal cloud as “your PC in the cloud” where your data is securely backed up, locked with your cryptographic key and only released with your permission to services that respect your wishes about privacy, sharing and community. This must be the new model of online interaction. While at first it may seem counter-intuitive, most online businesses will in fact benefit from easier regulatory compliance and improved relationships as they switch to a model that respects and empowers customers. Another huge benefit is the opportunity to establish a customer-centric architecture through personal clouds enabling individuals to thrive amidst their own “Internet of things,” or mobile, automotive and household devices. The imperative for a smarter, interconnected world will be the forcing function for personal clouds.
Respect Network is a pioneer at the center of what one of our partners calls the “control shift” to individuals and the businesses that serve them better. We’re working to enable the personal cloud ecosystem. Already we have more than 25 partner organizations joining in to build the world’s first personal cloud network. As the network launches and grows, increasing numbers of individuals and businesses will join us – not only to relieve themselves of privacy issues and regulatory risks – but also to open new markets in what’s called “The Intention Economy.” Through this business model, masses of new customers will express their wants or intentions to providers who can then compete to deliver product to actual known demand and have less need for advertising guesswork.
Personal cloud ecosystems like Respect Network’s will establish the virtuous circle enabling free customers and privacy-respecting businesses to achieve unparalleled network effects through trust frameworks no less transformational to Internet commerce than credit card networks were to finance. Established earlier in the decade where it won the 2011 European Identity Conference Privacy Award, the Respect Network Trust Framework codifies standard terms that all providers in a personal cloud network agree on. The terms ensure customers their privacy will be respected. They also ensure businesses that the convenient Respect.Connect personal login backed by reputation systems will have commercial-grade integrity.
Open standards for personal login, smart messaging and signalling, semantic data discovery and access control in a highly distributed environment are the technical pillars of the personal cloud ecosystem. We and our partners will implement them using the latest OpenID Connect, OAUTH, Extensible Data Interchange (XDI) and other specifications. Only through uncompromising openness and interoperability can the industry interconnect billions of people and trillions of things.
As Respect Network executes on our personal cloud vision, we must make our partners successful, and enable more partners. We want to help organizations map the personal cloud vision to their own use cases and develop business and technology strategies and architectures to put them among the first movers in their industry sectors – or make them efficient fast followers – depending on the business case. Leading or following, phased adoption of security and privacy business model, standards and architectures that enable personal cloud is imperative."
Living and breathing in the personal cloud space, we have strong consulting expertise. With myself and the rest of our consulting team and partners, we stand ready to help organizations achieve their business and technology objectives.