[rdfweb-dev] FOAF & Privacy

Julian Bond julian_bond at voidstar.com
Sat May 8 08:38:39 UTC 2004


A slightly different take on this.

One of the functions that the YASNs provide is the ability to make 
initial contact with someone you don't know. This is done in a nice safe 
environment where you can ignore them or choose not to open the kimono. 
They've also got some functions for locating people you ought to talk to 
either via a third party friend or by search.

FOAF has the data to answer the search and introduction problem but it 
does nothing to provide the initial arms length communication. This is 
as it should be given FOAF's sphere of influence. But the lack of 
techniques to do this limits FOAF's usefulness.

I'm really not worried by privacy issues or the whole problem of only 
wanting to serve some parts of my FOAF to some people. But then I'm a 
geek and a bit of self-publicist. I know other people do get concerned 
about "private" data ending up in public FOAF files. I just think 
they're deluding themselves!

But I am very interested in something built on top of existing 
communications methods like email/im that let me have an exploratory 
conversation with someone without revealing my true name. I've been 
creeping up on this in the past with suggestions for a FOAF element that 
said "Use this comms method to get in touch with me if you don't know 
me".

-- 
Julian Bond Email&MSM: julian.bond at voidstar.com
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