[rdfweb-dev] FOAF & Privacy

Marc Canter marc at canter.com
Sat May 8 17:02:48 UTC 2004

I really this each vendor has to bring their own understanding, insights
and code to this issue.

If we try and come up with THE way for privacy - we're locking ourselves
into one technique - and since there are SO MANY ways to get to privacy
- I say we stay agnostic - at least in so far as FOAF is concerned.

Now that doesn't mean that the encryption bit, the unique ID, the
sign-on handshake/juju - or whatever it is that triggers the privacy -
isn't inside of the FOAF file - just that FOAF should be thought of as a
standard object wrapper.  No more, no less.


- Marc

-----Original Message-----
From: rdfweb-dev-bounces at vapours.rdfweb.org
[mailto:rdfweb-dev-bounces at vapours.rdfweb.org] On Behalf Of Julian Bond
Sent: Saturday, May 08, 2004 1:39 AM
To: rdfweb-dev at vapours.rdfweb.org
Subject: Re: [rdfweb-dev] FOAF & Privacy

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 

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