World Economic Forum starts work on Data Portability

When titans of industry and state meet, worlds can change. The World Economic Forum launched a three year “Rethinking Personal Data” project, including data portability. Their first report, Personal Data: The Emergence of a New Asset Class, shows their direction.

A new asset class? That’s a telling use of language. Investopedia refers to securities with “similar characteristics, behave similarly in the marketplace, and are subject to the same laws and regulations.” Stocks, bonds, cash, real estate, and intellectual property are common asset classes. Some managerial accountants defined human capital as a new asset class.

Securities and IP go back hundreds of years. As a new asset class, personal data will have its own characteristics and market behavior, its own laws and regulations. We’ve barely mapped this new landscape. U.S. law doesn’t even recognize a theory of rights associated with personal data. So there is a great deal of work ahead. Some of that is ours, at the DataPortability Project. It falls to the DPP to crisply define data portability’s purpose, why it matters, how it fits into lives lived digitally. That’s some of our work at next week’s Internet Identity Workshop in Mountain View. [Skype me if you’d like an IIW discount code.]

Speed matters. A look at the chart below, from Bain, shows a rush to capitalize on billion dollar markets in data.

WEF report - Figure 4: The Personal Data Ecosystem: A Complex Web From Data Creation To Data Consumption

If we don’t embed data portability values and vision into the new identity and personal data infrastructure, it could take decades to achieve our goals.

So read WEF’s first report, below the fold. See where their thinking is now. And ask: where can we amplify their commitment to personal data portability?

Continue reading World Economic Forum starts work on Data Portability

#portability4trust: How we will bring data portability to trust frameworks this quarter.

Dial or Skype details for this Wednesday’s Conference Call to start before IIW.

Here’s how you can bring the ideas in our data portability policy to hundreds of millions of people. I’ll need your help in May and June to start. In short: build portability principles into boilerplate identity contracts.

What’s a trust framework? . . . → Read More: #portability4trust: How we will bring data portability to trust frameworks this quarter.

NYT: Companies should give usage data to customers

There’s data I create explicitly, like typing my name or dialing a phone number. Then there’s data I create as a byproduct of my using a product. Economist Richard H. Thaler writes in the New York Times that companies should share usage data with their customers. “Show Us the Data. (It’s Ours, . . . → Read More: NYT: Companies should give usage data to customers

Notes from the ActivityStreams lunch

The ActivityStreams group’s technical efforts to finalize a spec in time for the next OpenSocial event in May are coming along nicely. What about the other elements that make for healthy protocol adoption?

Why am I posting AS updates to the DataPortability blog?

Activity Streams reflects our data portability values, helping users have their data wherever they go online. I’m participating in the AS effort on behalf of the #DPP.

— Phil Wolff, editor

We talked about what it takes to launch the site. This was about a half hour of our April 1st, 2011, four-hour lunch at Chevy’s in San Francisco during the Web 2.0 Expo.

Activity Streams logoWe started with design questions.

Who is our site’s customer? We tried to categorize by organization size (BigCos, startups, individuals) but this didn’t work. Roles worked better. So far we’re clustering geeks (engineers, technologists) and non-geeks (suits, product managers, designers).

Goals? What might these users want when they visit?

  • Fix my stream. Technical help.
  • Learn. How to, specs, why.
  • Get. SDKs, code samples, books, t-shirts.
  • Discuss. Specs evolution, issues, implementation.
  • Promote my stream. Testimonials, leaderboard.
  • Build tools. Extensions, validators.

Continue reading Notes from the ActivityStreams lunch