Gearing up for Privacy

The issue of Privacy is one of the major concerns in the web today. The most common of such concerns centered around the user data having to live in the cloud with the potential for it to be exposed, stolen or misused by external elements (including the service provider). In this post I share my thoughts on how some of the emerging technologies can help address some of the concerns.

Emerging technologies such as Google Gears, Microsoft Sync Framework and Microsoft Volta provide programming paradigms around online/offline synchronization and an execution context. As you may already know Google Gears opens the possibility of the synchronizing content with browser plugin to provide seamless offline experience of online content. For example services like Google Reader and Zoho Writer leverage this today in their offerings. Microsoft Sync Framework opens the possibility of data synchronization across any device and data format. While Microsoft Volta promises to decoratively allow developers to execute content both online and offline.

As stated earlier the concern of the user data having to live in the cloud can be eliminated by architecting applications to load data locally. The web essentially becoming a platform for software delivery while data may be securely stored locally. The user has the choice of storing data in a medium of his choice, for example in USB drive or local hard-drive or just online. Technology support for encryption capabilities to securely store content should be just a matter of time.

Also the service providers wanting to provide data-sensitive contextual user services/experience may leverage paradigms provided by Volta. This will ensure that any user concerns around Privacy are addressed as well.

As the concept of web as a platform continues to grow so will the user’s concern of Privacy and data security. Emergence of technologies and their application in creative ways may help address such inevitable concerns.


Google Gears Enabled Sites

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