Business Cloud News
Reed:'split the value of data with the user, or let them stay completely private'

Reed:’split the value of data with the user, or let their data remain completely private’

Respect Network, a service that that links private cloud platforms together launched this week in several cities internationally. Drummond Reed, Respect Network’s chief executive officer told Business Cloud News that the service aims to take the middleman out of cloud-on-cloud interconnections and give users key assurances around how they control their data – and help them monetise it.

The Respect Network is a private network of personal and commercial cloud platforms that according to the organisation solves the problem of sharing data privately vs publicly. It links cloud platforms using a peer-to-peer method rather than going through a centralised interconnection or exchange.

The network will allow users to keep their information “100 per cent private”, but if users so choose they can sell that data to other businesses. A brand or business will pay for a channel in to the individual’s data, with the individual being completely in control of what they can see and for how long, and then the money is split between the individual user, the cloud provider, and the Respect Network.

“When we think about clouds, we often think of Dropbox or Google Docs – but these are static storage systems that are not designed to interact with each other,” Reed said.

“Respect Network has created a permission-based ecosystem that allows individuals to connect their own clouds with other clouds to share information with the businesses and brands they trust – and share in the revenue.”

Over 70 organisations from London, Tel Aviv, Seattle and Sydney have joined the network. Users can secure a lifetime membership to the network for £17, which will go towards paying the cost of operating the network as well as fueling the development of applications and services for the platform.

The organisation adheres to the Respect Trust Framework, which includes five simple principles governing the control and protection of identity and personal data: Promise, permission, protection, portability, and proof.

“If a billion people would join a network where one company owns everything, has all the data, sets all the terms and monetises all of it to their benefit, imagine how many would join a network where all of that is flipped on its head? Where people can retain full ownership and control of their data?”

Reed said that the organisation will announce its first 10 business partners in November this year, and a public certification scheme that will allow participating websites and digital service providers to demonstrate they adhere to the founding principles. It has been focused on building relationships with our founding partners – the partners, cloud service providers and app developers, that will deliver practical technologies that either underpin or build apps and services on top of the Respect Network.

But he also acknowledged that the move may bring some challenges, particularly given the increasingly popular tendency for companies like Google and Facebook to leverage the free services they offer in a bid to extract and sell data they collect through those services directly.

“Essentially we will be asking businesses to compete for consumers’ trust – rather than just for their data,” he said.