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The Evolution of Privacy

Online Identity is a topic close to my heart. Passwords may be directly related to authentication — but Passpack’s relationship with Online Identity runs deeper than that.

Let me share with you our ultimate vision for Passpack: in our personal lives, we all have public and private spheres. The latter is completely missing in our virtual life. Passpack wants to give you back your privacy.

What Privacy Is

Privacy is the right to choose what to share, how much of it we want shared and with whom.

Privacy is not secretive. Privacy is not having something to hide. Privacy is not asocial.

Web 2.0, better known as – the social web, is based on a mass collective exchange of information – and one perfect example is lifestreaming.

Your online identity is diffused across various social networking platforms – by nature they are limited in privacy. This is by no means implying such platforms don’t follow privacy standards but applications like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, FriendFeed are born specifically to share information beyond your ring of contacts.

But, sometimes we need to share things – like personal messages, health records and so much more and we need to share these things with particular people in complete confidentiality. Being able to do so… that is privacy. And it requires one key factor – Trust.

The Ring of Trust

Welcome to The Ring of Trust. It may not sound familiar, because it hasn’t existed until now.

Trust is that area that overlaps public and private. It’s pulling a select person or company into my private sphere long enough to entrust them (and only them) with something. I know that they will keep it confidential and will not share it with others. If they live up to my expectation, they may earn more excursions into my private sphere. Some people earn a permanent slot. But I decide.

As a professional, I need to share sensitive data with my colleagues and not wanting to send it to them by email (knowing they are just like online postcards), I would invite them into my Ring of Trust.

Privacy: Beyond a Concept

Passpack is and always will be an online password manager and now we will also take on the responsibility of being an online privacy manager as well. Privacy is not only made up of passwords, it’s made of people and powered by technology.

This technology is what we have called Shared Host-Proof Hosting. It finally gives users the unique experience of securely exchanging personal information, adding the necessary private sphere to our (sometimes too) public identities.

I am sure that I am not the only one who has felt the essential need for a new concept of privacy. And now,  we have an answer to fulfill just this need.

Let privacy evolve. Let’s start building our own Ring of Trust.

6 Comments

  1. Posted Oct. 9, 2008 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Awesome development, I am currently in the market for a new password manager and I would be interested to hear how this tech works with http://diso-project.org/ or Open Social etc.?

    Cheers,
    Kevin

  2. Paul Reed
    Posted Oct. 9, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I believe that the ‘Circle of Trust’ has been completely overlooked by today’s technology. Take for example passwords (since this is Passpack!), how would my family access the various online facilities, such as the phone account, utilities and even family banking if I were incapacitated tomorrow?
    They would struggle! and I am sure that most families would be in the same position.
    The ‘Circle of Trust’ principle overcomes this by being able to delegate access to another trusted family member, without resorting to writing them down – which is of course a security weakness.

  3. sullof
    Posted Oct. 10, 2008 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    @Kevin
    Being an on online privacy manager, I am not sure where Passpack would fit in to Open Social.
    But we are actually interested in microformats and are working on defining certain microformat standards. Thanks for the comment.

    @Paul
    Glad to see you are as excited as we are!

  4. Eddie
    Posted Feb. 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    interesting concept. i came here via louise’s comment on readwriteweb (http://bit.ly/fhUK). i clicked on to your main site to sign up but i am walking away w/o becoming a member.

    first i am tech inclined enough to use keepass on my laptop and phone, with a copy auto uploaded to an obscure (although public) location at set intervals. my brother has the password to my keepass file in his keepass file (but no location).

    second, and probably the most important reason i didnt sign up is you don’t have an FAQ or how it works page. its like ordering a surprise meal, no thank you.

  5. Eddie
    Posted Feb. 12, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    actually you do have a “tell me more” page, but it is not available if I click on the sign up button, and on the sign up screen it is not even available if i click on the top left passpack icon to try to go to the real homepage. and WHY do you use a bookmark redirect trick to fill up my history with identical canonical links?

    maybe you should start here?

    can’t figure it out and won’t bother finding out. but i am kind enough to leave you the feedback.

  6. Tara
    Posted Feb. 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    @Eddie
    Thanks for leaving feedback. I’ll see if we can’t add some FAQs or links to the Signup page.

    On filling the history — Passpack manages data directly in the browser. Without this trick, should you use the back button while logged in, it’d be the equivalent of logging out. Thus, we added some “cushion” so that wouldn’t happen to folks. This is also why generally try and open the Signup / Signin in a separate tab or window, so that it doesn’t mess with your main browsing history.

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