Tag Archives: ita

Report: News orgs must help users with identity, privacy; consider non-profit collaboration to share tech, users, content

BRANSON, Mo., Aug. 4, 2011 — A non-profit collaboration to share technology, users and content could help news organizations find new revenues and become better at serving the public, according to a report by a Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute researcher at the University of Missouri.

The report, “From Paper to Persona: Managing Privacy and Information Overload; Sustaining Journalism in the Attention Age,” was published on Thursday and presented to the annual meeting of the Newspaper Association Managers Inc., meeting in Missouri.  It’s the result of more than two years of study by a Reynolds fellow and consultant, Bill Densmore, a career journalist, publisher and entrepreneur.

“As news and the economics of newspapers come unglued, what will sustain journalism?” Densmore asks. “The answer involves a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is how to do a better job of helping the public find knowledge they need, amid a glut so huge that the scarce human commodity is now attention, not information. The Internet provides the opportunity to do so.”

The report advocates forming an industry collaborative,  tentatively called the “Information Trust Association” by Densmore. It would define and foster a common technology playing field that respects consumer privacy, and makes rules for the exchange of both content and users’ identity information.

“Such a system might allow news originators of any size – possibly including bloggers – to exchange payments among each other and with public users for news information and sponsored material,” says Densmore.

Two thirds of the 55-page paper chronicles what Densmore says is the end of mass markets as a viable strategy for selling the advertising that has largely supported American journalism.  Instead, he says, the Internet is increasingly able to deliver commercial messages targeted to specific users’ interests and profiles – or personas.

As a result, the paper says, publishers and broadcasters have to learn how to use technology to become expert at personalizing information services. And that, says Densmore, requires them to help consumers with their privacy and personal information. They might help users to earn rewards, or pay for specialized information.

The last third of the paper argues that the Information Trust Association is the best way to help with this change. The idea is potentially controversial because the U.S. news industry has not typically cooperated on technology standards,  instead being buffeted and shrunk by services originated elsewhere such as Craig’s List, eBay, Facebook or Google.

“The point of the Information Trust Association would be to foster collaboration that increases convenience and choice for consumers,  allowing multiple service providers to compete on a common playing field,” says Densmore.  The paper offers nine examples of industries where this has occurred, including railroads, cable TV, the electric grid, electrical equipment, banking and stock exchange, and the Internet itself.

The genesis of the paper was Densmore’s 2008-2009 “Information Valet Project” fellowship at Reynolds.

“Our challenge is no longer how to access information, but how to manage our time and attention amid the glut. News organizations have the opportunity to move from being paid to deliver one-format products (broadcasts, print stories, to providing trusted multimedia, personalized services with unique insight, knowledge, curation, and aggregation. They can help users manage their privacy and identity — their persona,” says Densmore.

The white paper is now available to view and download online. Rich with more than 230 live links to additional resources and reading, “From Paper to Persona” can be found here: http://rjionline.org/news/paper-persona

To comment, join a discussion or learn more about next steps for the Information Trust Association idea, read Densmore’s blog post at:  http://tinyurl.com/persona-blog

Response to Gillmor: With Facebook and Google+ now dueling for your ‘persona’ — is it time for the Information Trust Association?

Arizona State journalism professor and Knight chair holder Dan Gillmor is calling for an effort to “federate” identity management on the web:

“What I’d like to see, and would support with my money, is a collection of open-source, community-driven, federated services that achieved the same goals without putting our data and content into the hands of a few large and increasingly powerful companies. I suspect I’m not alone in wanting this. Are there enough of us to matter? And if so, are developers listening?”

He wrote that as the last paragraph to a blog post at The Guardian (U.K.) entitled: “Google+ forces us to question who owns our digital identity: Are enthusiastic users of social networking sites giving up too much control?”

In the post, Gillmor warns that putting too much of your “persona” — data about your friends, your “likes,” your interests and demographics — in a large social-networking service may be handing over too much control over your privacy without much in return. He’s correct, and it’s a key ongoing topic of the Information Valet Project. It’s also a key challenge addressed by our call for the formation of a global Information Trust Association, which would help establish protocols and opt-in business rules for trust, privacy, identity and information commerce on the web. I replied:

Dan:

Responding to your last paragraph: In a more detailed post I’m sure you would have mentioned Doc Searls’ ProjectVRM work at the Berkman Center at Harvard University. Broadly, what we need is an infrastructure that supports multiple places where you can lodge your “persona” (demographic and personal data), and which vouch for you as you use resources on the web. Today Facebook Connect is the default commercial identity provider for the web. Clearly G+ is making a play to be No. 2, and the fact that Facebook blocked it is at one level a welcome sign of competition.

What we need is for there to be dozens, hundreds, thousands of identity service providers — so that users can choose the one they are most comfortable with. These could be banks, telcoms, ISPs, publishers, affinity groups or even new enterprises (such as Azigo.com or Personal.com) formed for this purpose. The key issue is that they be willing — and able — to cross-authenticate their users so that they are silos, but silos which are unwalled from the user perspect.

We’re in the early stages of a four-party approach to trust, privacy, identity and information commerce — users, the user agent who helps with identity, the outfits that rely on the trust provided by the user agent (retail and content websites, eventually health-care providers perhaps) and a fourth party — the service which authenticates all of this activity.

The fourth party — the authenticator — best not be a for-profit or government entity. I’ve sketched out an idea for a global Information Trust Association which starts to get at a possible solution.  And the white paper http://www.papertopersona.org details the idea.

Yesterday, in Washington, D.C., a group of about 15 people met to work on a response to the Obama administration’s call for a private-sector let approach to Internet federated identity. They were responding to the National Strategy for Trusted identities in Cyberspace.  The government effort may be a catalyst for the work you are asking about.

– bill densmore
http://www.newshare.com/wiki/index.php/Disclosure

Web would benefit from indentity service not ‘owned by a single company’ says Google chairman

Eric Schmidt

Eric Scmidt

Writing at the All Things Digital (ATD) tech blog site, John Paczkowski quotes Google Chairman Eric Schmidt in seeming to support the premise of a non-profit Information Trust Association consortium — creating a new web infrastructure for trust, identity and commerce that isn’t controlled by a single company. Schmidt was speaking in Q&A format at a May 31 event organized by ATD.

In context, Schmidt was discussing the importance of user identity as a web service, because “in the online world you need to know who you are dealing with.” His remarks also came a minute or so after he said he admired some of what Facebook has done. Facebook’s “Facebook Connect” service is used by thousands of websites to provide single-sign-on identity. As quoted by Paczkowski, Schmidt added: “Historically, on the Internet such a fundamental service wouldn’t be owned by a single company. I think the industry would benefit from an alternative to that . . . . “

Paczkowski’s post is HERE. Schmidt was at the D9 Conference at Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. There are video exerpts, but the part quoted by Packowski of the Schmidt interview by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher didn’t make the edit for the video archive.

Take a moment to reflect about putting your content in the cloud — is ITA an answer?

We got an email today from a very senior retired banking-industry who has generously advised us on the Information Trust Association idea. He has been following the Wikileaks story, including the news that Amazon.com tossed Wikileaks off their “cloud” servers because the Amazon TOS forbids a site to host content they don’t own. Amazon isn’t talking, but the implication is that Wikileaks doesn’t “own” the diplomatic cables it has been publishing. Our friend points to a new feature in today’s Seattle Times, called “Techies,” by Brier Dudley. Here’s the LINK.

He takes note of the last paragraph of Dudley’s dispatch, which reads: “edia companies are rushing to publish their news through networks run by Amazon, Apple and other Web companies. Raves to those companies if the WikiLeaks debacle reminds the free press to pause, read the terms of service and decide whether it’s really a bargain to outsource distribution to the touchy Web giants.” Writes my friend: “How do you suppose WSJ or NYT will feel if they somehow get sideways with Apple and Apple pulls a story? With the ITA built network the free press controls its own destiny and is beholden to no one. See: http://www.newshare.com/ita/whitepaper.pdf