I’ve been called to testify for the prosecution in the Techcrunch case against Facebook. Apparently Michael Arrington wants me to testify that automated endorsements based on buy gestures are unethical and illegal.

This will be tricky for me since I also work with Facebook on the DataPortability Project. But I will try my best to represent the facts as I understand them.

I won’t be able to post on this matter again until the case is closed.

Hi everyone,

I’d like to invite you to the Data Sharing Workshop on April 18th and19th and the Data Sharing Summit on May 15th.

Both events are part of an ongoing collaboration with DataPortability.org, which we hope to evolve into a larger-scale Data Portability conference in the near future.

Our primary goal is to provide a gathering space for everyone to worktogether to build consensus around and get adoption of emerging dataportability standards. We know the timing is tight, but we also know there is a lot of momentum, and we want to move it forward with these two highly-interactive events.

The Data Sharing Workshop (April 18 and 19)
As a first step, the Workshop will provide a gathering space for different groups to have in-depth discussions about emerging data sharing standards and initiatives, and continue ongoing work by establishing Action Items to be carried out at subsequent events.

he Workshop will be held at the SFSU downtown campus in cooperation with the SFSU Institute for the Next Generation Internet.

Please make sure you add it to your Upcoming watch list Please make sure you add it to your Upcoming attending list http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/450853/

The Data Sharing Summit (May 15)
The Summit will take place a month later, providing enough time to further develop the ideas discussed at the Workshop while still being able to track progress. With the larger venue, participants from the Workshop will be able to share their ideas with a broader audience.

The Summit will be at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Ca, immediately following the Internet Identity Workshop, allowing those in the user-centric identity community to participate in the Summit.

Please make sure you add it to your Upcoming watch list Please make
sure you add it to your Upcoming attending list http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/452397/

Sign up
You can register for both of these events at http://eventbrite.datasharingsummit.com.

Additional information is available on the Data Sharing Summit Wiki.

About (un)conferences
As with the previous summit, which was facilitated by Kaliya Hamlin, aka “Identity Woman” [http://www.identitywoman.net/], the upcoming event will follow the open space (un)conference [http://unconference.net] format. The agenda is created on the first day of the event, allowing everyone to participate in the discussion.

Since 2005, Kaliya has been facilitating the Internet Identity Workshop and has received considerable praise for helping achieve real results, including the incredible progress of OpenID and other user-centric identity projects. Based on the success of IIW, we have decided to use a
similar model for the Data Sharing events.

Get Involved
We need help with promoting these events and ask that you blog about both events. We are also looking for volunteers and sponsors to help support this community, so that we can create real value for everyone involved.

To make the event accessible to a broader range of participants, attendance fees are relatively low. All three days are $200.00 for regular attendees and $140.00 for independents and start-ups. These fees will cover approximately half the cost. Sponsorship support is needed to cover the remaining half.

If you have any questions about any of these events, or would like to get involved as a volunteer or sponsor, please contact Laurie Rae at laurierae@datasharingsummit.com

Often in the DataPortability project we get asked “What have you guys actually done?”

I often times find the question both amusing and confusing, while other times I can understand where the question comes from.

The DataPortability project received a lot of attention very quickly and very early in its life and it left some people asking ‘Why?’.

The answer, however, can be quite multifaceted and complicated.

The first thing I do is encourage people to look at the DataPortability Road Map.

It clearly maps out our plan and shows that we have actually successfully completed 2 out of the 5 planed phases.

  1. Foundation (done)
  2. Invitation (done)
  3. Investigation (underway)
  4. Design
  5. Evangelize

Foundation is self-explanatory – but invitation is a very interesting step along this long journey.

We have invited the industry to start a conversation about data portability. And I think we have been quite successful in doing just that. It is now one of the most visible topics at most industry conferences, dev groups and board meetings. The mere existence of the project and the phrase has given people a handle from which to drive the conversation.

The result has been actual and practical. It has resulted in an acceleration of every discussion and implementation around openness and standardization.

This is indeed a journey of a thousand steps, but by defining our destination (as DataPortability has begun to do) we have helped the community shift from a steady walk to a jog. Next comes the run.

But we can’t rest now – there is still a lot of work to do. We need to execute on the rest of our plan. We need to put aside our agendas, egos, doubts and fears and embrace this new, broader conversation.

Next, I remind people that, as a project, the DataPortability group is currently executing on Phase 3 – Research. During this phase we are speaking to each standard community about their relevant technologies and contributions to understand how they might fit into any future best practice document or documents. If we are not speaking to you yet, please drop me a line.
After that, comes the Documentation phase. But not before.

The journey is indeed long – there are indeed a thousand steps to come – maybe more. Some of us are focusing on making shoes, others have given us iPods to keep us entertained, and others still are drawing directions in the sand. It will take all kinds of efforts and all kinds of people to arrive at our destination.

Are you helping? Join a standards group, write some code, or join the DataPortability project!

Of course, there’s another, shorter answer. “Just you wait and see…”

Today Microsoft takes another big step towards Data Portability by announcing their Contacts API for their Live Platform.

To quote John Richards, Director of Live Platform (an active participant in the DataPortability project) from the press release:

“To tackle the issue of contact data portability it is important to reconcile the larger issue of data ownership.  Who owns the data, like email addresses in a Windows Live Hotmail address book?  We firmly believe that we are simply stewards of customers’ data and that customers should be able to choose how they control and share their data. We think customers should be able to share their data in the most safe and secure way possible, but historically this openness has been achieved largely through a mechanism called “screen-scraping,” which unduly puts customers at risk for phishing attacks, identity fraud, and spam. Now with the Windows Live Contacts API, we have provided an alternative to “screen-scraping” that is equally open but unequivocally safer and more secure for customers. “

This is another strong example of how committed Microsoft is to data portability in general and the DataPortability project specifically.

As things take shape in the DataPortability Project, we will have specific recommendations for Microsoft and all other vendors to make sure that their APIs are seamlessly inter-operable with other DataPortability enabled applications.

Good news – I will be in Amsterdam speaking at the Next Web Conference on the 3rd and 4th of April – are you coming? I will also be in London for a few days after the 4th.

Here’s a bit of info about the conference from the website:

The Next Web Conference is THE European conference for industry thought-leaders, leading web-companies, innovative Startups, visionaries and real Web savvies. This third edition will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on April 3rd & 4th, 2008.