Respect Networks launches private cloud

InsightaaS: Back in the very early days of the Internet - when our vision of how it might evolve was being shaped by books like Being Digital and Net Gain - there was (at least in some quarters) a belief that individuals would have the ability to manage personal data on the web, releasing access/permissions in exchange for payments or other considerations. Today, with Big Data capturing and aggregating information from all aspects of our lives, this notion seems quaint. But as we have seen from backlashes against Facebook and others, it is not dead; in fact, you could make a case that individuals are increasingly interested in protecting personal privacy and managing personal data.

Inventors and investors have taken note of this trend. Within the past month, we have seen the launch of the Blackphone, which encrypts voice, text, and browsing traffic to/from a smartphone, and of the Respect Network, which promises to enable members to "share sensitive private data over trusted private connections just as easily as they can share data publicly on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ today." In this piece,, a UK-based site that "aims to deliver topical, practical content to purchasers, vendors and analysts in the Cloud Computing industry," provides some third-party commentary on Respect Network.

The Respect Network has set itself the goal of restoring privacy on the Internet. As a first step, it has launch what it claims to be the world's first global network for trusted private data sharing. It claims over 70 global partners in this project all of whom bring a mix of technical skills to help develop the network.

According to the press release, "The Respect Network has been in development for over three years by leading Internet architects and founding partner companies including Neustar, the first real-time provider of cloud-based information services and data analytics. Other UK-based founding partners include:  Allfiled, Ctrl-Shift, CitizenMe, Digital Animal, miiCard, mydex, MyProfessionalID, Paoga, Social Safe, SmarterComplaints and The Customers’ Voice."

Respect Network CEO Drummond Reed explains: ‘Protection of our digital life is the civil rights issue of our time. Being able to choose what happens with our private information on the Internet is something we should all have the right to do — for our sakes, and for the sake of future generations. Now is the time to act."

Setting itself such a lofty goal is brave. The Respect Network is banking on being able to set itself up and avoid what will be the inevitable concerted attempt to breach its securty from Governments, criminal gangs and hackers.

One of the challenges to keeping the network secure will be the behaviour of its users. Each user will have their own private cloud, albeit on a shared infrastructure. By doing this, the founders of The Respect Network believe that users will accept more responsibility for the security of their data...

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