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Re: How the father of the World Wide Web plans to reclaim it from Facebook and Google

From: Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2016 15:16:24 +0200
Message-ID: <CA+eFz_Juo08tVYf4zQZS+0cdikXug0GHx7AH1SkE-7v=J6T4nA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Cc: public-webid <public-webid@w3.org>, Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>, "public-rww@w3.org" <public-rww@w3.org>, business-of-linked-data-bold <business-of-linked-data-bold@googlegroups.com>
Correction: "[avoiding] vendor lock-in is not a value to the vendor."

On 19 August 2016 at 15:15, Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>

> > End-users need to want to take control of their identity by being
> curious about what that means and how its is achieved. Currently, most
> aren't interested, so the vendors have full control.
> > As history teaches us, repeatedly, there will be an event that triggers
> an inflection, and folks will become more interested in their privacy en
> route to discovering Web-scale verifiable identity.
> +1000
> You hit the nail on the head.
> The pressure must come from the users. I have called it the "privacy
> backlash" in the past but I agree that there needs to be an inflection
> point where users care more about their privacy than the quality of the
> service they use because it will be very difficult to offer a competitive
> service without the user-data generated revenue to fund it.
> All of this is very difficult while the vendors of the existing services
> also provide the majority of browsers.
> In the absence of the "privacy backlash" creating demand for new vendors
> it would be valuable if the proponents of  stacks like SoLiD were able to
> demonstrate the business value to vendors so they feel it's worth building
> on and trying to compete.
> And it's worth differentiating between the value to the vendor and the
> user because vendor lock-in is not a value to the vendor.
> Sidenote: I believe there could be something that comes from a new browser
> like Brave that offers micropayments built-in and can therefor compete
> commercially and offer users privacy and a better experience. Perhaps a
> better identity experience built-in would also be a key differentiator?
> On 19 August 2016 at 14:59, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
> wrote:
>> On 8/19/16 6:20 AM, Adrian Hope-Bailie wrote:
>> Kingsley,
>> I am playing devil's advocate here but I don't think you have answered my
>> question.
>> Gaining agility is not a business case.
>> Enabling, enhancing,  and achieving agility via data access, integration,
>> and management is a fundamental business case. If that weren't the case,
>> why would markets for Analytics, Recommendation Systems, AI-driven Bots,
>> Big Data etc., exists?
>> It is always about data-driven agility.
>> I am all for open standards, I spend the majority of my time working to
>> promote them but I am still trying to understand what the economic
>> incentive is for any service provider to adopt SoLiD as opposed to
>> controlling their user's data.
>> The economic benefit of open standards are as follows, always:
>> 1. Flexibility -- when choosing platform components i.e, you can mix and
>> match a combination components in line with needs
>> 2. Vendor lock-in prevention
>> 3. Technology longevity -- you can always go back to a full spec for a
>> specific platform component.
>> SoLiD isn't a standard, it is a combination of open standards and best
>> practices. Thus, its benefit is an open standards based approach for a
>> read-write web that benefits end-users and vendors.
>> Google, Apple and  Microsoft control the end-user experience for the
>> majority of users on the Web by giving them free browsers, email, social
>> etc. In return they make money from controlling the data those products and
>> services generate.
>> Correct! And history shows, companies don't adopt standards just because
>> they exists. They adopt standards as part of an "opportunity cost"
>> prevention or control mechanism, first.
>> Are you surprised that the browser vendors all actively block initiatives
>> at W3C that would promote an open identity system that would unlock their
>> user data silos?
>> I am not convinced they are blocking initiatives per se. From my vantage
>> point, there is a general communication problems between all the parties
>> involved. For instance, there has been a lot of fanfare about how browsers
>> implement TLS and its impact on the something like WebID+TLS protocol. That
>> situation is rectified by WebID+TLS+Delegation, but folks don't generally
>> see or promote that, on the pro WebID side of the argument.
>> Bottom line, you can't declare standards adoption. You have demonstrate
>> the virtues of standards via applications that are adopted by end-users and
>> technology vendors.
>> There are always politically astute excuses but let's be honest, if the
>> browsers wanted to they could have made adopting WebID an easy user
>> friendly experience and the world would be full of people who all have
>> their own WebID that is used to log into all the services they use on the
>> Web.
>> They don't need to. That's the problem. Here's a breakdown of the issue,
>> as I've come to understand it after hours of study and experimentation:
>> You have a digital highway provided by the Internet. That highway (like
>> in the real-world) enables movement of data from one point to another where
>> security is scoped to the agents (software) transporting said data i.e.,
>> just like cars and car registration numbers.
>> The Web is an Internet abstraction that introduces the ability to
>> identify the user of an agent (like a car driver) distinct from an agent
>> (the software). Thus, you can demand reworking the highway just because car
>> drivers are now identifiable using their driver's licenses. That will never
>> wash in the real-world, so why would it work in cyberspace.
>> Example:
>> I want to transport some goods from Boston to New York.
>> The scenario above includes toll booths and a final destination.
>> On the highway, my car registration is the identity focal point, with
>> regards to toll payments. When I reach my destination, my personal identity
>> card (license or something else) is how I prove I am the delivery person
>> expected at the final destination.
>> Another example: I drive my car to a pub. At the pub my personal ID is
>> what's important. En route to the pub, my Car registration is what's
>> important. There are two distinct scenarios requiring different kinds of
>> identity.
>> WebID+TLS doesn't have the fidelity required for traversing the existing
>> highway without asking its current maintainers (Certificate Authorities and
>> Browser Vendors) to change infrastructure and practices.
>> WebID+TLS+Delegation simply adds the "On-Behalf-Of" relationship type to
>> the mix (i.e., in the data) which distinguishes the user from the software
>> they use (drive) thereby enabling one toggle WebIDs without browser
>> restarts (due to TLS requirements) [1].
>> I am certainly not assuming that these companies are ignorant or myopic,
>> quite the opposite. I think they will continue to keep users locked into
>> their semi-open ecosystems by competing to offer the best browsers (that
>> mostly adhere to open standards) and other free services. But they will
>> never change the many services they offer to allow users to export and
>> control their own data.
>> Power is never given. It has to be taken. End-users need to want to take
>> control of their identity by being curious about what that means and how
>> its is achieved. Currently, most aren't interested, so the vendors have
>> full control.
>> As history teaches us, repeatedly, there will be an event that triggers
>> an inflection, and folks will become more interested in their privacy en
>> route to discovering Web-scale verifiable identity.
>> In fact, I'd go as far as to say that for them to do that would be in
>> contravention of their legal obligations to their shareholders because it
>> would be such a blatantly bad commercial move.
>> You are oversimplifying a little bit. The issue, as per my comments
>> above, is more to do with end-users than vendors. The obligation of the
>> vendor is simply about ability in regards to market inflections :)
>> [1] https://medium.com/virtuoso-blog/web-logic-sentences-and-the
>> -magic-of-being-you-e2a719d01f73#.l0b1rvdsp -- Demonstrates WebID
>> toggling without Browser Restarts, courtesy of WebID+TLS+Delegation
>> Kingsley
>> On 18 August 2016 at 01:04, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi Adrian,
>>> On 8/16/16 8:51 AM, Adrian Hope-Bailie wrote:
>>> What is the business case for a service provider to adopt Solid?
>>> There is always a business case for open standards, and it goes as
>>> follows:
>>> Agility to mix and match "best of class" technologies that underlie
>>> solutions, at any given point in time.
>>> When the Web's original open standards stack (URIs, URLs, HTTP, and
>>> HTML) arrived it unveiled the World Wide Web, an ecosystem that laid the
>>> foundation for Google, Facebook, Amazon, and many others. It also enabled
>>> behemoths like Apple (struggling badly at the time) to pivot and reinvent
>>> themselves.
>>> Why would Google, Facebook or anyone that build's their business on user
>>> data choose to let users take that away?
>>> When the World Wide Web arrived, folks asked the question: Why would
>>> Microsoft allow anyone succeed without embracing their technology stack and
>>> related ecosystems.
>>> SoLiD is just a collection of existing open standards and best
>>> practices.
>>> Who will offer users a comparable service to these silos that attracts
>>> them away but adopts Solid and can still make enough money to survive
>>> competing with the biggest tech companies in the world?
>>> See my comment about Microsoft and the World Wide Web.  This is what
>>> happens with technology and industry evolution. Google and Facebook aren't
>>> static behemoths and they also understand history. Don't presume myopia and
>>> ignorance on the part of any of these companies, they have too many smart
>>> people on their payrolls.
>>> The point is not whether or not the architecture is easy the point is
>>> whether it has the potential to make anybody any money because if it
>>> doesn't then I think you will have a hard time persuading people to use it,
>>> no matter how well it scales.
>>> SoLiD scales and it simply adds dimensions to the Web ecosystem to be
>>> exploited by behemoths, startups, and smartups.
>>> New business and business models will coalesce around the Web's
>>> read-write dimension. That's an inevitability due to the nature of privacy.
>>> Kingsley
>>> On 15 August 2016 at 14:11, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> On 15 August 2016 at 14:08, Timothy Holborn <timothy.holborn@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Solid isn't finished yet.
>>>> Solid is at version 0.6 rather than 1.0.
>>>> But I dont really know what more can be added to it to get it to v1.0.
>>>> Im using it on a daily basis and it works fine.  Some people are
>>>> perfectionists I suppose :)
>>>> In any case its IMHO light years ahead of where the rest of the web is,
>>>> even if you only take small parts of it and use it.
>>>> You can also argue that solid will never be finished, in the sense
>>>> that, the web will never be "finished".
>>>> Its definitely something that can be used today.
>>>>> On Mon, 15 Aug 2016, 10:07 PM Melvin Carvalho <
>>>>> melvincarvalho@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> On 15 August 2016 at 11:50, Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com
>>>>>> > wrote:
>>>>>>> From the article: "The question is whether architecture will be
>>>>>>> enough."
>>>>>>> The answer is no.
>>>>>>> We live in world where few ideas succeed without a strong business
>>>>>>> case. The architecture is the easy part.
>>>>>> Architecture is deceptively difficult to get right.  The vast
>>>>>> majority if systems start to fall over as they scale.  The web and REST are
>>>>>> two architectures that buck that trend and just get stronger as they scale.
>>>>>> Solid is the next evolution in that architectural trend, imho,
>>>>>> because it simply embraces the points that made the web great, and extends
>>>>>> it a little bit, while being 100% backwards compatible.  Right now, it's
>>>>>> the only system that I know of, with this property, in fact, nothing else
>>>>>> is close.  So this in itself, the ability to scale to billions of users, is
>>>>>> a business case.  Quietly facebook adopted the social graph approach to the
>>>>>> web, and web architectural principles with their graph protocol, and also
>>>>>> an implementation of WebID.
>>>>>> I think what's true is that few ideas succeed, because simply, we
>>>>>> have a lot of ideas and a lot of competition.  Having a business can help,
>>>>>> but the right architecture is the magic sauce to get through those
>>>>>> scalability barriers.
>>>>>> I personally think Solid is the business opportunity of a lifetime,
>>>>>> perhaps even bigger than the first web.  Im certainly investing on that
>>>>>> basis.
>>>>>>> On 14 August 2016 at 10:49, Timothy Holborn <
>>>>>>> timothy.holborn@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>> Hi Anders,
>>>>>>>> I'm using this email to respond to both [1] in creds; in addition
>>>>>>>> to the below, with some lateral considerations.
>>>>>>>> See this video where Mr Gates and Mr Musk are discussing in China
>>>>>>>> AI [2].
>>>>>>>> I haven't fully considered the implications, whilst i've certainly
>>>>>>>> been considering the issue; i have not fully considered it, and as modern
>>>>>>>> systems become subject to government contracts as may be the case with
>>>>>>>> enterprise solutions such as those vended by IBM [3], may significantly
>>>>>>>> lower the cost for government / enterprise, in seeking to achieve very
>>>>>>>> advanced outcomes - yet i'm unsure the full awareness of how these systems
>>>>>>>> work, what potential exists for unintended outcomes when work by
>>>>>>>> web-scientists[4][5] becomes repurposed without their explicit and full
>>>>>>>> consideration of the original designers for any extended use of their
>>>>>>>> works, what the underlying considerations are by those who are concerned
>>>>>>>> [6][7] and how these systems may interact with more advanced HID as i've
>>>>>>>> kinda tried to describe recently to an audience here [8] and has been
>>>>>>>> further discussed otherwise [9] [10].
>>>>>>>> I'm a little concerned about the under-resourcing that seems to
>>>>>>>> plague Manu's / Dave's original vision (that included WebDHT) to the
>>>>>>>> consultative approach that i believed had alot of merit in how it may
>>>>>>>> interact with the works of RWW at the time (alongside WebID) which have al
>>>>>>>> progressed, yet, not seemingly to a solution that i think is 'fit for
>>>>>>>> purpose' in attending to the issues before us.
>>>>>>>> I have considered the need for people to own their own biometric
>>>>>>>> signatures.  I have considered the work by 'mico-project'[11] seems to be a
>>>>>>>> good supporter of these future works, particularly given the manner in
>>>>>>>> which these works support LDP and other related technologies...
>>>>>>>> But the future is still unknown, and what worries me most; is those
>>>>>>>> who know most about A.I. may not be able to speak about it as a citizen or
>>>>>>>> stakeholder in the manner defined by way of a magna carta, such as is the
>>>>>>>> document that hangs on my wall when making such considerations more broadly
>>>>>>>> in relation to my contributory work/s.
>>>>>>>> i understand this herein; contains an array of fragments; yet, am
>>>>>>>> trying to format schema that leads others to the spot in which i'm
>>>>>>>> processing broader ideas around what, where and how; progress may be
>>>>>>>> accelerated and indeed adopted by those capable of pushing it forward.
>>>>>>>> I remember the github.com/Linkeddata team (in RWW years) wrote a
>>>>>>>> bunch of things in GO, which is what the IPFS examples showcase, and
>>>>>>>> without providing exhaustive links, i know Vint has been working in the
>>>>>>>> field of inter-planetary systems [13], therein also understanding previous
>>>>>>>> issues relating to JSON-LD support (as noted in [1] or [14] ), which
>>>>>>>> in-turn may also relate to other statements made overtime about my view
>>>>>>>> that some of the works incubated by credentials; but not subject to IG or
>>>>>>>> potential WG support at present - may be better off being developed within
>>>>>>>> the WebID community as an additional constituent of work that may work
>>>>>>>> interoperable with WebID-TLS related systems.
>>>>>>>> Too many Ideas!!!
>>>>>>>> (perhaps some have merit...)
>>>>>>>> Tim.H.
>>>>>>>> [1] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-credentials/
>>>>>>>> 2016Aug/0045.html
>>>>>>>> [2] https://youtu.be/TRpjhIhpuiU?t=16m26s
>>>>>>>> [3] http://blog.softlayer.com/tag/watson
>>>>>>>> [4] http://webscience.org/
>>>>>>>> [5] https://twitter.com/WebCivics/status/492707794760392704
>>>>>>>> [6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV8EOQNYC-8
>>>>>>>> [7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Letter_on_Artificial_
>>>>>>>> Intelligence
>>>>>>>> [8] (perhaps not the best reference, but has a bunch of ideas in
>>>>>>>> it: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1RzczQPfygLuowu-W
>>>>>>>> PvaYyKQB0PsSF2COKldj1mjktTs/edit?usp=sharing
>>>>>>>> [9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTqF3w2yrZI
>>>>>>>> [10] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x_VpAjim6g
>>>>>>>> [11] http://www.mico-project.eu/technology/
>>>>>>>> [12] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CMxDNuuAiQ
>>>>>>>> [13] http://www.wired.com/2013/05/vint-cerf-interplanetary-i
>>>>>>>> nternet/
>>>>>>>> [14] https://github.com/ipfs/ipfs/issues/36
>>>>>>>> On Fri, 12 Aug 2016 at 14:47 Anders Rundgren <
>>>>>>>> anders.rundgren.net@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> On 2016-08-11 15:16, Melvin Carvalho wrote: > Really good article,
>>>>>>>>> mentions Solid and other technologies.  WebID is mentioned by the author in
>>>>>>>>> the comments too ... > > http://www.digitaltrends.com/w
>>>>>>>>> eb/ways-to-decentralize-the-web/ One of the problems with the Web
>>>>>>>>> is that there is no easy way letting a provider know where you come from
>>>>>>>>> (=where your Web resources are).  This is one reason why OpenID rather
>>>>>>>>> created more centralization.  The same problem is in payments where the
>>>>>>>>> credit-card number is used to find your bank through complex centralized
>>>>>>>>> registers. Both of these use-cases can be addressed by having URLs + other
>>>>>>>>> related data such as keys in something like a digital wallet which you
>>>>>>>>> carry around. There is a snag though: Since each use-case needs special
>>>>>>>>> logic, keys, attributes etc. it seems hard (probably impossible), coming up
>>>>>>>>> with a generic Web-browser solution making such schemes rely on extending
>>>>>>>>> the Web-browser through native-mode platform-specific code. Although W3C
>>>>>>>>> officials do not even acknowledge the mere existence(!) of such work, the
>>>>>>>>> progress on native extensions schemes has actually been pretty good:
>>>>>>>>> https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webappsec/2016Au
>>>>>>>>> g/0005.html This is approach to decentralization is BTW not
>>>>>>>>> (anymore) a research project, it is fully testable in close to
>>>>>>>>> production-like settings today: https://test.webpki.org/webpay
>>>>>>>>> -merchant The native extensions also support a
>>>>>>>>> _decentralized_development_model_for_Web_technology_, something
>>>>>>>>> which is clearly missing in world where a single browser vendor has 80% of
>>>>>>>>> the mobile browser market! Anders
>>>>>>>> --
>>> Regards,
>>> Kingsley Idehen	
>>> Founder & CEO
>>> OpenLink Software   (Home Page: http://www.openlinksw.com)
>>> Medium Blog: https://medium.com/@kidehen
>>> Blogspot Blog: http://kidehen.blogspot.com
>>> Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/kidehen
>>> Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/+KingsleyIdehen/about
>>> LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen
>>> Personal WebID: http://kingsley.idehen.net/dataspace/person/kidehen#this
>>> --
>> Regards,
>> Kingsley Idehen	
>> Founder & CEO
>> OpenLink Software   (Home Page: http://www.openlinksw.com)
>> Medium Blog: https://medium.com/@kidehen
>> Blogspot Blog: http://kidehen.blogspot.com
>> Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/kidehen
>> Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/+KingsleyIdehen/about
>> LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen
>> Personal WebID: http://kingsley.idehen.net/dataspace/person/kidehen#this
Received on Friday, 19 August 2016 13:16:57 UTC

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