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The Symbiotic Web <ul><li>A new model to understand the gathering, use and retention of personal data on the internet  </l...
Symbiosis <ul><li>Where two different kinds of organism exist together in a state of mutual dependence </li></ul><ul><li>S...
The Symbiotic Web <ul><li>Individuals and commercial enterprises are mutually dependent: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enterprises...
The Symbiotic Web Users Web 1.0 Content Providers
User/Contributors Web 2.0 Content Providers The Symbiotic Web
The Symbiotic Web User/Contributors Web 2.5 Content Providers/ Information Gatherers
The Symbiotic Web User/Contributors Web 2.5 Content Providers/ Information Gatherers
A fractured web? <ul><li>Individualised advertising, content - and links </li></ul><ul><li>For search engines, for example...
Key components of the symbiosis <ul><li>Search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Communications providers </li></ul><ul><li>Social...
Competitive drives <ul><li>The understanding by businesses that personal information has commercial value  </li></ul><ul><...
Competitive drives <ul><li>As competition over personal data develops, so do competitive and anti-competitive practices - ...
Consequences <ul><li>A burgeoning market in data - one about which users are being kept deliberately unaware </li></ul><ul...
Solutions? <ul><li>Break the dependence - through stronger, better enforced laws? </li></ul><ul><li>Change the paradigm - ...
<ul><li>Paul Bernal [email_address] </li></ul>
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The Symbiotic Web

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Presentation at BILETA 2009, Winchester

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The Symbiotic Web

  1. 1. The Symbiotic Web <ul><li>A new model to understand the gathering, use and retention of personal data on the internet </li></ul><ul><li>It helps explain: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why so much data is gathered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The principle commercial uses to which it is put </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some of the ways it might be used in the future </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why so much data collection and use is covert </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The difficulties our legal and regulatory systems have in controlling it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The threats to our privacy and autonomy that arise through it </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Symbiosis <ul><li>Where two different kinds of organism exist together in a state of mutual dependence </li></ul><ul><li>Symbiosis can be mutually beneficial - but can also become parasitic, and detrimental to one or both of the parties </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Symbiotic Web <ul><li>Individuals and commercial enterprises are mutually dependent: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enterprises have built business models reliant on a currency of private data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals depend on ‘free’ access to many services - from search engines to price comparison web sites, email to YouTube </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Symbiotic Web Users Web 1.0 Content Providers
  5. 5. User/Contributors Web 2.0 Content Providers The Symbiotic Web
  6. 6. The Symbiotic Web User/Contributors Web 2.5 Content Providers/ Information Gatherers
  7. 7. The Symbiotic Web User/Contributors Web 2.5 Content Providers/ Information Gatherers
  8. 8. A fractured web? <ul><li>Individualised advertising, content - and links </li></ul><ul><li>For search engines, for example, different search results - or search results in a different order </li></ul><ul><li>Overall, the effect is more than just on the individual page, but on the navigation and the whole web experience </li></ul><ul><li>Potential benefits, but not in the control of the user </li></ul>
  9. 9. Key components of the symbiosis <ul><li>Search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Communications providers </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking Sites </li></ul><ul><li>Geographic services – Google Maps etc </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And geolocation services on smartphones etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Media providers/Services - YouTube etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial services – from shops and auction sites to price comparison sites </li></ul>
  10. 10. Competitive drives <ul><li>The understanding by businesses that personal information has commercial value </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations gather more and more data, not just for specific current or planned uses, but speculatively </li></ul><ul><li>Once the data has been gathered, there is a drive to find more uses for it, to take advantage of your ‘assets’ </li></ul><ul><li>New businesses developed for aggregation and profile generation - and to help other businesses use data </li></ul>
  11. 11. Competitive drives <ul><li>As competition over personal data develops, so do competitive and anti-competitive practices - alliances, cartels etc Beacon and Phorm are prime examples </li></ul><ul><li>Drive for more ‘tailored’ services - and potentially price or service discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>The need for covertness - when customers know what is happening, they often object - Beacon and Phorm are again examples. Opt-out, rather than opt-in, is the norm </li></ul><ul><li>As competition increases and margins fall, less attention may be paid to ‘ethics’ </li></ul>
  12. 12. Consequences <ul><li>A burgeoning market in data - one about which users are being kept deliberately unaware </li></ul><ul><li>Much more data is being held - and hence is vulnerable </li></ul><ul><li>New data types are emerging - profiling data in particular - which have more significant vulnerabilities </li></ul><ul><li>New kinds of risks are emerging - ‘Back-door Balkanisation’ is just one example </li></ul>
  13. 13. Solutions? <ul><li>Break the dependence - through stronger, better enforced laws? </li></ul><ul><li>Change the paradigm - effectively give up on privacy. Accept that this is happening, enjoy the positives, penalise excesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Do very little - allow norms and markets to redress the balance. </li></ul><ul><li>Weaken the dependence, but support the symbiosis - strengthen the rights of individuals, particularly in terms of information, consent and choice </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Paul Bernal [email_address] </li></ul>

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