The Real Killer App for Personal Clouds

safe-w-gold-barsI’ve been working for several years now on building infrastructure for personal clouds (that’s the entire goal of the Respect Network based on the Respect Trust Framework). I’ve helped design, discuss, and debate dozens of powerful new apps for personal clouds (see several that were shown at the SWIFT Digital Asset Grid session in Osaka last October). During that time I can’t count how often I’ve been asked: what will be the killer app for personal clouds?

But just in the last few weeks—since the first Personal Cloud Meetup in San Francisco last month—the answer has started screaming at me: the killer app IS the personal cloud!

What does this mean? Read this (about having all my digital gear stolen). And then this (about having Facebook access turned off). And then this (Phil Windley’s latest blog post about the Tesla car spying fiasco). And then answer me: do you have a place to safely store all of your personal and household digital assets (files, photos, receipts, contacts, calendars, financial records, medical records, product usage data, etc.) where you know:

  1. They will always be safe, even if your house burns down or you lose all your devices?
  2. You, your spouse, or your family’s access to them cannot be turned off by a third-party service provider because of its own terms-of-service provisions?
  3. If you permission apps or services to store data there, you alone will control the rights to access and share that data (like you do on your own computer)?
  4. You can share any of your digital assets with any party you want on your own terms?
  5. All of your personal digital assets are all fully portable, and ideally mirrored across multiple independent service providers?

If your answer is yes, please tell me more. If your answer is no, now you know why the personal cloud—a truly PERSONAL cloud that can deliver all of the above— is the killer app.


About Drummond Reed

Internet entrepreneur in identity, personal data, and governance frameworks
This entry was posted in Data Portability, Digital rights, Personal Cloud, Privacy, Respect Network, Respect Trust Framework. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Real Killer App for Personal Clouds

  1. Oliver says:

    A really interesting view onto the personal cloud. A Swiss Company is offering a secure storage place to just do what you mention above:
    – No access by the provider as the data is encrypted.
    – Access everywhere with the mobile apps
    – Inheritance for the case that you are not able anymore to access the information.

    The price for this might be still a bit on the high side, but you can really consider this being a digital safe under your own control.

    More information on their website:

    • Oliver, thanks for the reference. I agree the closest thing to a personal cloud today is a secure storage solution, and this Swiss offering fits that profile perfectly. What it doesn’t do yet is provide the connectivity to other personal clouds and business clouds that provides much of the value of having secure personal storage. That’s the piece we’re working on at Respect Network.

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