T.Rob Wyatt Explains the Respect Trust Framework (and May Not Even Know It)

How to explain how we got here?

  1. I wrote a blog post called Please Send Wicked Simple Email inspired by the jaw-dropping great messages T.Rob Wyatt was sending to the VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) and personal cloud mailing lists. I lobbied for T.Rob’s thoughts to be going onto his excellent blog for easier & longer term sharing.
  2. Today T.Rob does just that and puts up a killer blog post about why we need VRM from a privacy and personal data rights standpoint that argues the case as strongly as anything since John Kelly’s killer talk on personal clouds at Gartner Symposium or Doc Searls book The Intention Economy.
  3. I read T.Rob’s post and realize he’s nailed it so well that he explains exactly why we needed to define the Respect Trust Framework before we could build the Respect Network.

Here is the paragraph where T.Rob nails it:

VRM, or Vendor Relationship Management, is a new approach to conducting business in which the missing physical constraints [for protecting privacy and personal data] have been replaced by technological and policy constraints that restore the balance of power between individuals and their vendors, and perhaps to some extent also their governments.

Now read this purpose statement from the first line of the Respect Trust Framework:

The purpose of the Respect Trust Framework is to define a simple set of principles and rules to which all Members of a digital trust network agree so that they may share identity and personal data with greater confidence that it will be protected and only used as authorized.

Separated at birth…and I don’t know if T.Rob has even seen the Respect Trust Framework.

genieGiven the depth of his knowledge and research, I wouldn’t be surprised—I just haven’t heard him mention it yet. But no matter—he came to exactly the same conclusion as those of us founding the Respect Network: the privacy-invading technology genie is out of the bottle and there’s no stuffing him/her back in. So the alternative is to “restore the balance of power” a different way, with an opt-in network where everyone agrees to play by a new set of rules.

I can hardly wait to get the network fully operational—all I can say is that the 24 Respect Network Founding Partners are working like mad to get there. If you want an in-depth progress report, come see us at the next Internet Identity Workshop coming up in Mountain View May 7-9.


About Drummond Reed

Internet entrepreneur in identity, personal data, and governance frameworks
This entry was posted in Blogging, Digital rights, Events, Identity Rights Agreements, Respect Network, Respect Trust Framework, VRM and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to T.Rob Wyatt Explains the Respect Trust Framework (and May Not Even Know It)

  1. T.Rob says:

    Ya know, I’d read that paragraph from the Respect Trust Framework but didn’t have it in mind when I wrote my post. I’m kinda surprised they are as close as they are. I was actually coming at this from having the Atoms Vs. Bits discussion several times recently. The premise is that when you deal with atoms, things like surveillance are naturally limited by physics. The legislative and legal frameworks which emerged at a time when the cost of surveillance was based on atoms contain an implicit assumption that pervasive surveillance is impossible. The invention of digital surveillance and web trackers breaks those underlying assumptions.

    We will break them in new and different ways as Internet of Things begins to scale up because the current legal and policy frameworks contain implicit dependencies as to numbers of unique nodes, porosity of the network, degree of hostility on the network, the granularity of authentication and authorization, and more. The scary thing is that we largely do not recognize or acknowledge the underlying assumptions, let alone understand the ways in which the new architectures break them. But once you spot them, it’s kinda tough to un-see them. My mission is to shine as bright a light as possible on them so our new systems don’t embed faulty assumptions and emerge broken at birth.

    • T.Rob, I deeply agree with you — the atoms-to-bits transition is going to radically alter things so much it may redefine what we call privacy today. So the brighter the light you shine, the better we’ll all see how to fix it.

  2. Pingback: T.Rob and I Have Another Vulcan Mind Meld and This Time I Didn’t Even Know It | Equals Drummond

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