W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rww@w3.org > August 2016

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

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2016 09:30:35 -0400
To: Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.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>
Message-ID: <8c844903-140f-2298-cfb2-2bf389affbe9@openlinksw.com>
On 8/19/16 9:15 AM, Adrian Hope-Bailie wrote:
> > 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.

Naturally.

>
> 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.

Yes, applications are the key. The have to take the "magic" route
initially. A car driver doesn't need education on mechanical engineering
en route to purchase. They just want to know why this car is better than
others, at a very high level.

>
> 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.

Vendors build around stacks, so not being locked into an entire stack or
its components affects their agility.
>
> 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?

You can improve the identity experience of existing browsers, as is. We
do that already.

[1] http://osds.openlinksw.com -- Open Structured Data Sniffer (note:
the WebID toggling feature that works without browser TLS session
restarts).

Kingsley
>
>
> On 19 August 2016 at 14:59, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com
> <mailto: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
>     <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 <mailto: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 <mailto:melvincarvalho@gmail.com>>
>>>         wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>             On 15 August 2016 at 14:08, Timothy Holborn
>>>             <timothy.holborn@gmail.com
>>>             <mailto: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
>>>                 <mailto:melvincarvalho@gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>
>>>                     On 15 August 2016 at 11:50, Adrian Hope-Bailie
>>>                     <adrian@hopebailie.com
>>>                     <mailto: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
>>>                         <mailto: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
>>>                             <http://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
>>>                             <https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-credentials/2016Aug/0045.html> 
>>>                             [2] https://youtu.be/TRpjhIhpuiU?t=16m26s
>>>                             <https://youtu.be/TRpjhIhpuiU?t=16m26s>
>>>                             [3] http://blog.softlayer.com/tag/watson
>>>                             <http://blog.softlayer.com/tag/watson> 
>>>                             [4] http://webscience.org/ 
>>>                             [5] https://twitter.com/WebCivics/status/492707794760392704
>>>                             <https://twitter.com/WebCivics/status/492707794760392704> 
>>>                             [6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV8EOQNYC-8
>>>                             <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV8EOQNYC-8> 
>>>                             [7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Letter_on_Artificial_Intelligence
>>>                             <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-WPvaYyKQB0PsSF2COKldj1mjktTs/edit?usp=sharing
>>>                             <https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1RzczQPfygLuowu-WPvaYyKQB0PsSF2COKldj1mjktTs/edit?usp=sharing> 
>>>                             [9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTqF3w2yrZI
>>>                             <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTqF3w2yrZI>
>>>                             [10] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x_VpAjim6g
>>>                             <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x_VpAjim6g> 
>>>                             [11] http://www.mico-project.eu/technology/
>>>                             <http://www.mico-project.eu/technology/> 
>>>                             [12] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CMxDNuuAiQ
>>>                             <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CMxDNuuAiQ> 
>>>                             [13] http://www.wired.com/2013/05/vint-cerf-interplanetary-internet/
>>>                             <http://www.wired.com/2013/05/vint-cerf-interplanetary-internet/> 
>>>                             [14] https://github.com/ipfs/ipfs/issues/36
>>>                             <https://github.com/ipfs/ipfs/issues/36> 
>>>                             On Fri, 12 Aug 2016 at 14:47 Anders
>>>                             Rundgren <anders.rundgren.net@gmail.com
>>>                             <mailto: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/web/ways-to-decentralize-the-web/
>>>                                 <http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/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/2016Aug/0005.html
>>>                                 <https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webappsec/2016Aug/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
>>>                                 <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/@kidehenBlogspot Blog:
>>         http://kidehen.blogspot.com Twitter Profile:
>>         https://twitter.com/kidehen Google+ Profile:
>>         https://plus.google.com/+KingsleyIdehen/about
>>         <https://plus.google.com/+KingsleyIdehen/about> LinkedIn
>>         Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen
>>         <http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen> Personal WebID:
>>         http://kingsley.idehen.net/dataspace/person/kidehen#this
>>         <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
>     <https://plus.google.com/+KingsleyIdehen/about>
>     LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen
>     <http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen>
>     Personal WebID: http://kingsley.idehen.net/dataspace/person/kidehen#this
>     <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
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