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Towards a Context TF Charter (was Re: Context in the XG?)

From: Phil Archer <phil@philarcher.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 12:11:14 +0100
Message-ID: <4A40B852.7030405@philarcher.org>
To: public-xg-socialweb@w3.org
CC: Alex Korth <ak@ttbc.de>, Venezia Claudio <claudio.venezia@telecomitalia.it>, rreck@rrecktek.com
Hi all,

I took an action last week to work with Claudio on developing a charter 
for a context task force. Reading through the various posts on this 
thread I _think_ I've got a clear idea of what the TF could do and how 
it could remain manageable.

I'm sure everyone agrees with Alex that privacy and context are very 
closely related and I quite see why he's suggesting that the 'two task 
forces' are really treated as one. However, breaking down the work into 
manageable chunks, I think we can and should set a small-scale goal for 
the context TF, knowing, of course, that interaction with the putative 
privacy TF is essential. Actually, I think the context TF should get its 
work done quickly so as not to hold up the privacy TF (or anyone else).

So what 's the work of the context TF? I think it should concentrate on 
delivering a vocabulary that describes user context. The text below is 
my first attempt at writing a charter. Claudio - you'll recognise some 
of your original post in here. Ronald - let's work on that vocabulary. 
SKOS may be relevant to us there.



=== begins ===

Social Web XG Context Task Force Charter


Human beings maintain multiple identities all the time. Although there 
is clearly an interaction and interdependence between them, people will 
assume and project different identities at work, at home, among friends, 
among family, among special interest groups and so on. An individual's 
use of social networking tools will vary according to which identity is 
in force at a given time, as exemplified in the Multiple Identities Use 
case [1].

If context is the cause, the obvious effect is on privacy. Referring to 
the Multiple Identities use case for example, Kavita wishes to keep her 
membership of the Society for Creative Anachronism private from her 
family members. A documentary broadcast in the USA in 2008 called 
Growing Up Online  [2] details some very poignant (real) use cases in 
this area too. For example, it tells the story of what happened when a 
mother disregarded the privacy wishes of her teenage son and how for one 
girl it was her online persona that was the 'real her'  it was the 
conforming, moody teenager that was the fake.

The Context Task Force is concerned with identifying and codifying the 
factors that are likely to affect which identity is active at any given 
time such that a user can easily switch between profiles. These include:
location symbolic names (e.g. home, office, transportation)
social activity (e.g. business meeting, with friends)
related information (e.g. temperature, brightness, remaining battery & 

These factors provide input to systems that can, for example, protect 
privacy, control whether a given message is delivered immediately or 
later, whether particular events trigger alerts or are simply logged and 
so on.

The Task Force Deliverables

1. A social context vocabulary that captured relevant aspects that could 
either be detected by the device automatically or provided by the user.
2. Examples of the kind of APIs that would be desirable to extract such 

Get Involved

All members of the Context Task Force are members of the Social Web 
Incubator Group [3]. Join the discussion through the @@@publicly 
archived@@@ mailing list at public-swxg-context@w3.org


[2] http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/kidsonline/
[3] http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/socialweb/

Alex Korth wrote:
> Hi all,
> I totally agree on that. It it absolutely neccessary that there is an 
> explicit context that is controllable by the user, e.g. the user's 
> active persona (private vs. business, see the profile switcher on your 
> nokia as a starting point), mood, and so forth.
> But: do not let us draw a border to the privacy TF because these TFs' 
> domains are not disjoint. Let me give you a quote which is my favorite 
> definition of privacy:
> "Privacy is the claim of individuals, groups, or institutions to 
> determine for themselves when, how, and to what extent information about 
> them is communicated to others."
> - Alan Westin, Privacy and Freedom, 1967
> As I mentioned in a past Email thread, privacy is not about secracy and 
> thus, massively overlapping with explicit context. I agree that privacy 
> has not much to do with the technical availability and standardization 
> of implicit context, e.g. geo-location, time and so on, but it does with 
> its accessability. Splitting up the team to TFs that are overlapping is 
> no good.
> I propose having privacy and context in one TF.
> Cheers,
> Alex
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: public-xg-socialweb-request@w3.org [mailto:public-xg-socialweb-
>>> request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Venezia Claudio
>>> Sent: den 3 juni 2009 15:44
>>> To: public-xg-socialweb@w3.org
>>> Subject: Context in the XG?
>>> I've not received any comment to the mail below so far....
>>> Is there any?
>>> Regards
>>> Claudio
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: public-social-web-talk-request@w3.org [mailto:public-social-web-
>>> talk-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Venezia Claudio
>>> Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 10:56 AM
>>> To: 'Harry Halpin'; Renato Iannella
>>> Cc: public-social-web-talk@w3.org
>>> Subject: RE: Proposal: Keep Group Unified, Don't Divide into Taskforces
>>> Hi Harry, all,
>>> as said during the workshop operators would be interested in getting to
>>> a standard definition of social context, as a set of information which
>>> might range from location symbolic names (e.g. home, office,
>>> transportation) and social activity (e.g. business meeting, with
>>> friends) to sensors' related information (e.g. temperature, brightness
>>> and whatever),
>>> this work has been partially carried out within W3C UWA but just with
>>> respect to the delivery context,
>>> the aim would be collecting use cases, generate requirements (e.g.
>>> functional, security etc) and collect the critical mass to
>>> propose/achieve:
>>> 1) a social context vocabulary
>>> 2) a definition of Web social context which would extend the web
>>> browsing context
>>> 3) the specification of APIs to get/set social contextual information
>>> 4) a (privacy) security model
>>> We believe that contextual information will be more and more important
>>> in social networking (especially in mobility) and we'd like to prevent
>>> a massive market fragmentation,
>>> Regards
>>> Claudio
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Phil Archer

i-sieve technologies                |      W3C Mobile Web Initiative
Beyond Impressions                  |      www.w3.org/Mobile
Received on Tuesday, 23 June 2009 11:16:06 UTC

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