zaterdag 4 juni 2011

Personal digital lockers and standards

A new trend is born, the secure personal digital locker. It used to be called the Digital Vault, but locker feels a lot more personal.

What's the purpose of a locker? It's a storage area for your personal data. The principle behind the locker (as defined by Google's Schmidt) is that you are the owner of your data.

Interestingly, now I know of at least 4 dedicated cloud based locker systems: Qiy, Digidentity, Singly, Azigo. And of course there is Google, iTunes, Amazon
And it will not end here, many more will appear, multi platform tools and apps, and, of course, the inevitable patent wars will happen too. Nevertheless, it seems a nice concept.

But having a locker is only the start. You have to get your data in there. And using a web form to upload is not very practical. Automatic interfaces will have to appear that enable upload from service providers to lockers of their customers, thereby transforming physical output on paper to digital output for delevering and storage in digital lockers.
Interesting, especially for those service providers, it will save massive amounts of paper, quite some business case!

But how will this end? Will everyone have just one locker? Or do we split risks and have separate lockers for different aspects of our lives?
And how can service providers know which locker to use to send data to? And which digital identity is required to open a locker? What legislation is there, can governments open my locker? And what if I die?

Plenty questions and hardly any answers yet. But I know for certain that we need open standards, at least locker provider should use open standards. Standards to be able to send data, upload, standards for identity.

[rant mode]And puhlease, get rid of those patents in order to make this new ecosystem work. Long time ago I had a Compuserve account and I feel that all current patent discussion can be stopped by pointing as Compuserve as an example of prior art.[/rant] (sorry about this)

5 opmerkingen:

Sebastian Hagens zei

Nice post!

Here is a list with a lot of movements in the personal data ecosystem by Kaliya Hamlin:

I'm convinced we're going to see a lot of these new tools, a personal data store for every user. It's a technical infrastructure for everyone, but we also need a new generation of applications to prove why we need those lockers. If we don't have that type of killer applications, we've to wait long before this new era of use of the internet is going to reach the mass. So personally, that's why I focus on designing on that type of applications.

Martin zei

And how do you see lockers for passwords? These come of course in web based versions, but also in app versions. From an end user perspective I like the dutch example Inshared "supersafe"

Personally I dont think the concept of a digital locker is going to work. People will most likely see it as a type of online backup, which it's not. And will security be the driver or storage?

André zei

@martin Problem is that the word Locker is quite accessible for a lot of meanings. A locker in the form of a personal digital vault is what's happening now. And such a vault can of course be used for any personal data that has to be secured. So yes,this use of the locker will work, but that's nothing new. New is that it will replace the old shoe box, with old photo's, insurance policies, bank letters and a lot more.

André zei

@Sebastian I too believe that a lot of applications will pop up. I have seen the Qiy solution (that won an award in Munich) and it looks feasible.
But I fear that many service providers give me their version of a locker and that re-use is no option. We need open standards to make that possible.

Sebastian Hagens zei

@ André, I argee on that.

The data and the protocols between must be open to retain a robust solution for the future for our valuable data. The data should be as independent as possible in many ways.