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Framework Introduced to Give Consumers Control of Their Digital Identity

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October 22, 2014

Framework Introduced to Give Consumers Control of Their Digital Identity

By Michelle Nicolson
TMCnet Contributing Writer

A public-private partnership has developed a new framework designed to give consumers control of their personal identity information. Called the Windhover Principles, the framework was introduced by the Institute for Data Drive Design (ID3) and reportedly has been endorsed by 21 of the leading Bitcoin and digital currency companies.

"The Windhover Principles support my view that it is time for us all to take charge of our personal data,” explained Alex "Sandy" Pentland, Toshiba Chair Professor at the MIT (News - Alert) Media Lab, co-lead of the Big Data and Personal Data & Privacy Initiatives at the World Economic Forum, and ID3 chief scientist and co-founder.

ID3 is basing the Windhover Principles on its Open Mustard Seed (OMS) software platform for developing and deploying secure cloud applications to collect, compute on and share personal data. According to the organization, it enables the development and deployment of Web apps in a secure, user-centric personal cloud.

“Technologies such as OpenPDS and ID3's OMS provide a new technical solution to a rapidly growing societal problem,” Pentland continued. “Our work at MIT will continue to influence ID3 and the emerging industry-supported OMS open source project -- not only in technology, but also in method, as we assist in architecting MIT Living Labs test beds to understand and optimize these new solutions."

With the digital currency industry's support, ID3 and participating firms plan to test, implement and deploy granular technical solutions to trust, privacy and governance on the OMS open source platform. The approval of the digital currency firms means these companies will commit to future collaborative development of legal and technical frameworks -- along with subject matter experts, government bodies and the private sector -- to implement the core Windhover Principles through rigorous testing in MIT-type Living Labs, according to the organization.

ID3 gained support from digital currency and Bitcoin-related companies and individuals, including BitPay, BitReserve, Bitstamp,, Coinsetter, and others. The framework also was supported by DATA (the Digital Asset Transfer Authority). 

"The next phase of Internet growth requires a re-tooling, with identity and trust at the foundation, to bring the ownership and control of personal data back to the individual. Doing so will spawn a new stage of collaboration and open data exchange," said Dan Harple, ID3 managing director and MIT entrepreneur in residence. "The Windhover Principles, coupled with an inclusive open sourced Open Mustard Seed project and MIT-influenced Living Labs, are tremendously positive steps toward an industry-wide solution. Our vision for OMS is as an inclusive platform to transform how we, as collective Internet users, can take back our personal data, and share it in a trusted and secure way -- not only for Bitcoin and digital currency transactions, but for other data and media types as well."


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