Data Portability - Wading through the BullShit (W4H)

From IIW

Session Topic: Data Portability – Wading through the BullShit (W4H)

Convener: Steve Repetti

Notes-taker(s): Steve Repetti

Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered:

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

1. Data Portability is one of the 3 cornerstones of user-centric computing

     a. Privacy, Security, Portability

     b. It is the ability for people to reuse their data across interoperable application

     c. Encapsulates the ability AND the right to exchange information

2. Whose data is it? Who “controls” your data?

     a. Control vs. ownership

     b. Implicit transference: starts with you -- you have the power…until you transfer it

     c. Propagation by proxy

          i. authorized, accidental, unintentional, unauthorized

     d. You grant access, share control, and then progressively lose control

3. The reality is, portability today is controlled by the owners of the data store

     a. It can be influenced (in varying degrees) by the user

     b. Currently policed by no one

     c. Public opinion matters, but rarely has the necessary voice to change behavior

     d. The concept of data stores inadvertently introduced the concept of walled garden

4. All data stores are walled gardens

     a. The difference between private, public, and open source can simply be measured by the height of the wall

          i. (If you doubt open source falls in to this category, just check with the Internet Timezone database guys)

          ii. Still, there is certainly a difference between with moats and turrets versus lawn edging

     b. Governed by disclosure, commitment, and accountability

          i. Disclosure is the actual or implied “contract” in which you share your information

          ii. Commitment is the willingness to abide by the original “contract”

          iii. Accountability is

5. Data Portability War: Who’s more open: Google or Facebook?

     a. Depends on which snapshot in time you are looking at

     b. Both companies have historically exerted their control over your data

          i. In February, took a shot at Facebook, preventing Android (2.3.3 on the Nexus S) from integrating with Facebook, claiming Facebook’s policies “created a false sense of data portability”

          ii. Shortly thereafter (in July), Facebook retaliated by blocking a chrome extension from exporting Facebook Friends

     c. Still, both companies are moving towards more openness

          i. Both companies have hired high-profile advocates

          ii. Google’s Data Liberation Front

               1. “Users should be able to control the data they store in any of Google's products”

          iii. Facebook’s profile export functionality

6. High stakes game

     a. Big players want to control the data store

     b. Control and influence equals power

     c. Ownership and control is a significant asset

     d. Contrarian view: value can be achieved through openness

     e. The quest for openness and decentralized control spawns opportunity and new players

          i. Personal Data Vault guys



7. Data Death

8. Accountability

9. Economic value

     a. Ownership/control of user data is an asset

10. Developer benefit