[foaf-dev] Birthday

Dan Brickley danbri at danbri.org
Tue Jan 26 18:20:27 CET 2010


On Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 5:42 PM, Libby Miller <libby at nicecupoftea.org> wrote:
>
> On 26 Jan 2010, at 16:39, Mischa Tuffield wrote:
>
>> foaf:birthday is an odd one, am guessing people may use this to both
>> obfuscate their age, for vanity or privacy reasons.
>>
>
> yes, it was for privacy reasons - in the UK at least, it's often used
> as a piece of security information. There's also foaf:age btw: http://xmlns.com/foaf/spec/#term_age

Yup.  A lot of the earlier vocab decisions reflect the fact that,
2002-2004 there weren't many options for sharing data without making
it public. So the vocab had an orwellian bias towards not including
terms that people might use to cause problems.

Sure there was PGP but nobody could remember a passphrase for more
than 2 minutes. These days there are a lot more technologies plausibly
in play here, for representing claims ('factoids' in our old
terminology) without them being made public. SPARQL databases, OpenID
logins, OAuth-mediated APIs, XMPP for accessing desktop data, Social
Network APIs etc.

In this light we could probably be more liberal and include terms for
stuff it would be foolish to make public.

I wouldn't mind including basic family tree stuff in the core, too.
But that's a click away from mother's maiden name (also a UK security
question, even if we're apparently supposed to lie when our banks ask
us it...).

cheers,

Dan


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