Tuesday, 08 July 2014 07:15

Respecting your privacy – new ‘private cloud’ to take on Facebook Featured


A new global network that bills itself as an alternative to Facebook – where you ‘own your identity and privacy online’ – has launched in Australia.

“Claim your cloud!” says the blurb. “Don’t want to be a digital guinea pig for Facebook? Concerned that your health insurer knows your chocolate eating habits thanks to buying your grocery data? Rather than cancelling your loyalty cards and living the life of a digital hermit, an answer is finally on the way.”

That answer is supposedly Respect Network, a cloudfunded network that launched in San Francisco (where else?) last month and has now come to Australia. It kicked off last night at a snazzy do in Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal.

“Respect is the safe way to be connected to the people and stuff you love. It is a remarkably simple yet safe login button, similar to Login with Facebook and others, but one that sends a very different message: ‘You can safely connect with us. We respect you. We will give you complete control over your personal info. It will be used only as you choose’.”

Respect’s CEO, is Drummond Reed, a well known figure in open systems. In Australia for the launch, he said: “We’re asking people to help us build an Internet that respects personal choices and privacy. It’s not OK to use people’s private information without their knowledge. We don’t allow that in the real world – why do we accept it in the digital world?

“Imagine your neighbour rifling through your bedroom drawers, just because you invited them in for coffee? It’s just not ok. Let’s make the Internet more human. Let’s make it better for us, our children and grandchildren!” says Reed.

For $30, the first million ‘cloudfunders’ will receive a lifetime membership in the Respect Network, a cloud name (=name) and space on Respect’s personal cloud. “But more importantly,” says Reed, “supporters are building a new future for the Internet, one where individuals can give permission to businesses who promise to respect their wishes, so that a foundation of trust can be built.

Respect was founded in 2011 with 72 founding partners, including NEC, Swisscomm and 70 cloud service, development, ecosystem and consulting partners, who have taken part in its subsequent development. Development.

“It enables people and businesses to share sensitive private data like medical records, financial records, insurance records, and family records just as easily as they can share data publicly on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ today,” says Reed.


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.



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