Tag Archives: privacy

With ‘Numerati,’ BW staffer Stephen Baker understands IVP

Business Week senior writer Stephen Baker’s new book, The Numerati, sounds like a must-read for anyone trying to figure out how personal information will be brokered in the future. Baker was interviewed Sept. 29 on WHYY Philadelphia’s  Fresh Air. An excerpt of Baker speaking from the last two minutes of the 20-minute audio interview sounds like a pitch for the Information Valet Project:

“I think that there are great opportunities for entrepreneurs, and they are already looking at them, for them to develop tools so that we can monitor our own data and get a sense of who’s using it and to what end. So that we can protect it and give it to people that we trust with it, and we’re going to develop relationships with certain companies that we trust with the data and eventually we could sell our data. That is essentially what we are doing when we go into a supermarket and give them our customer loyalty card — we’re selling our data. We’re exchanging it for discounts. And we’ll be able to sell our data. There could be markets that open up where we decided how much of it we want to sell and at what price.”

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While seeking a milestone, court test of anonymity revealed

The first two milestones for the Information Valet Project development are to:

  • Engage a group of advisors
  • Determine and establish the optimal corporate form for the IVP service operator.

Getting started on both milestones, yesterday we visited with Dennis Crouch, a University of Missouri School of Law professor who focuses on patent law and electronic commerce. He’ll be helping to think through the corporate form/ownership question as an IVP advisor.

In discussion, Crouch mentioned he was subpoenaed last week in a civil case. A plantiff suing a third party for defamation has asked Crouch to reveal the identity of a person who posted anonymous comments on Crouch’s patent-law blog. It is alleged the anonymous comments defamed the third party. There is no claim that Crouch himself wrote anything defamatory — just the commentator. Google has been served with a similar subpoena in the same case, Crouch said. The case could become a test of how willing courts are to maintain online anonymity. Crouch is a former patent lawyer in Chicago who joined the Mizzou law-school faculty a little over a year ago.

Reynolds’ IVP sets academic-year timetable

Sustaining civic-oriented journalism is the goal of The Information Valet Project. The Internet needs additional infrastructure — a sort of news social network — which will update the role and effectiveness of advertising, enhance consumer privacy options, and enable the sharing of information commerce among publishers, producers and artists. The Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri is working on a solution. READ MORE ABOUT US.

This blog will chronicle the early-stage project development.