“One of the main reasons for (a) lack of trust in the Internet is the fragmentation of personal data and the lack of control, by individuals, on how it is being stored, secured, transported and exploited.” (www.iosf.org)
Personal hosting systems like 'Google e-mail' track, 'mine' and exploit personal data. Have you ever noticed that the 'Google Ads' on the right hand side of your g-mail are very much 'related' to the topic of conversation in the actual (personal, and some might consider, private) email communication. I first noticed this during an email communication about 'restaurants' and I had responded about 'Indian restaurants', only to be presented with 'Google Ads' about 'Indian Restaurants'.
As more interest and acceptance is gained in the use of technology in health care (e-health) and our interaction with the government (e-government or government 2.0). Married with our existing experiences with e-learning (e-education) and e-business (e-commerce, online banking etc), we are moving further and further towards an 'e-ecology' which requires digital literacies (and some say all literacies) to be effective global e-citizens.
There's no escaping the fact that we need to have secure online spaces where we can store our e-lives, without the side effect of having this information utilised (or exploied) by the storage host.
The Internet of Subjects (IoS), an independent not-for-profit organisation dedicated to making the internet a more secure place, is working towards creating a trustworthy internet (IoS) architecture, “based on a clear separation between hosting and exploitation of personal data”. IoS architecture aims to end the fragmentation of personal data and improve internet data security.
The IoS architecture will require “personal data stores (PDS)”, which enable individuals to take control of the storage and transportation of their own personal data, while being able to monitor its use by others. The IoS architecture aims to provide “interoperability across heterogeneous services and organisations”, enabling individuals to unify their personal data.
"The components of the IoS architecture will require:
· independent Personal Data Stores (PDS) to securely store and share personal data
· Personal Circles of Trust (PCT) to securely share personal data within communities
· Citizen Dashboard to control and monitor how personal data is secured and exploited by service providers
· Service Providers to provide services based on data collected from and written to personal data stores, with respect to the policies defined by their owners
· IoS Foundation to provide the architecture's framework and the means to control the contractual relationships between the different stake-holders
To achieve its mission the IoS will create the conditions for a trustworthy internet by:
1. providing a citizen dashboard to help individuals have a unified view of their fragmented personal data in the current architecture, currently not possible by existing internet architecture
2. implement a reference model of a person-centric architecture, the IoS architecture, with a complete separation between the hosting and the exploitation of personal data, under individuals' full control
3. work with technology service providers to join and benefit from the IoS architecture federation.
IoS aims to create “an open and trustworthy architecture based on the strict separation between hosting of personal data and their exploitation by web services. This will require system architects, decision makers and business leaders to change their vision of the Internet to move towards a person-centric architecture."
IoS states that this type of internet architecture provides a more person-centric internet and enables an individual to create personal circles of trust with whom they choose to interact with.
This type of internet architecture provides a potential model to ensure that we as e-citizens can effectively operate in the 'e-ecology' we are moving towards and manage our:
- social networks, user created content and online identities
- e-portfolios, personal learning environments (e-learning) for life long learning
- personal citizen information (e-government), and
- personal e-health and e-business records