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Re: [foaf-dev] Re: privacy and open data

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 12:01:15 +0900
Cc: kidehen@openlinksw.com, "Phil Archer" <parcher@icra.org>, "Semantic Web" <semantic-web@w3.org>, "foaf-dev Friend of a" <foaf-dev@lists.foaf-project.org>
Message-Id: <1E9CDC18-183C-47A9-8F6B-BDC542D0BF59@w3.org>
To: Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com>

First to clear up any misunderstanding, I'm not against the Semantic  
Web or the Web in general. It's quite the opposite.

Le 27 mars 2008 à 10:52, Peter Ansell a écrit :
> You could not have a social life, and become a hermit. That might stop
> them being able to annotate your photo with details about you.

binary statement -> black or white. I advocate opacity, which means  
continuous variabilty. Think about trees in a forest with fog, how  
details disappear when you are farther from the tree.

> Are you an enemy of the government? If not there is nothing to be
> worried about. IngSoc is good! (by definition)

binary statement again. You have to hide parts of your information in  
this context, you might have to lie in another context, and you might  
have to say the truth in another.

> Why would you say that you don't want your email to go to a Google
> Mail address. You are posting to a public mailing list... You have a
> public identity. Nabble.com doesn't necessarily ask permission to
> republish data from public mailing lists, other than to add their
> address to a mailing list.

Again binary statement :)
You can choose to have a public expression when you send an email to a  
public mailing-list that you know is totally open, you take the  
responsibility of doing it.
When you send a private email to someone it is another matter. Google,  
Yahoo!, Microsoft and some few others are big concentrators of  

When I send a paper mail to a person of my choice. The envelope is  
sealed. The post office (or government etc.)  usually doesn't open it.  
the communication is between me and the person. With electronic  
communications, the content of my mail is used.

> I definitely do not agree with the premise that once a triple always a
> triple, things should be able to be deleted or denied, but you can
> only do that once you have identity and trust, where do you propose we
> start?

I guess we agree that Identity and Trust are not technical.

Identity is a way to identify something in a particular *context*. For  
a group of friend, I'll have a nickname. For my parents a name, for my  
employer another one, in my city, maybe some people are identifying me  
by a name or a physical description. They are *all* part of identities  
given (or chosen) for me. One big issue with identity is the survival  
of the written statement. People were easily changing names, locations  
were easily changing names. As soon as you write it down. It means you  
move it from oral culture to written culture. Memories get a bigger  
life span. You do not refer to the oral culture, but the written  
culture impose the oral one. You solidify it. It has benefits in some  
circumstance, it has also constraints. You are giving up flexibility.

Our written culture is the ossification of our identity.

Trust is another interesting social mechanism. It is a shortcut for  
interacting socially. Basically I should doubt about everything around  
me. Is my chair stable? Can I use this pen without hurting me? Can I  
give money to this person before I get the object in my hand? etc.  
etc. Trust is a semi-conscious decision that you decide to stop  
controlling things because you rely on laws, on other people, on  
experience, etc. It's why it's also very hard to build, and very easy  
to loose.

Where do we start? Is it possible to have an open social network  
(based on foaf or something else) without having

* granularity of the information
* access control of the information
* cryptography, protection of the information

My "utopian" FOAF resource, let's say an URI

Mr Smith asking it  would get "name" and "email"
Ms Boo (a friend of mine)  asking   it  would get "my address"

only the relevant part of the file would be accessible depending on  
the acls (system with pgp keys?)

Karl Dubost - W3C
Be Strict To Be Cool
Received on Thursday, 27 March 2008 03:01:52 UTC

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