AUDIO: Are privacy, identity and trust building blocks for new news ecology? A discussion

BOSTON — Are privacy, identity and trust necessary building blocks for the new news ecosystem?

Panel Q&A Topic: Privacy, identity, trust, commerce: Foundation blocks for 21st-century news?

In this 85-minute session, experts discuss the idea during a New England Newspaper & Press Association panel recorded Feb. 11, 2012 at a Boston hotel. Speakers are Bill Densmore, consulting fellow to the Reynolds Journalism Institute; Craig Willis, chair of the computer science department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Mary Ruddy, executive director of the Identity Commons and Doc Searls, a Berkman Center fellow at Harvard University and originator Project VRM.  Download the MP3 podcast for offline listening.

Privacy, identity, trust and commerce — who is taking control of them on the web and what should editors and publishers be doing about it? Join Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow and Media Giraffe Project director Bill Densmore in a fast-paced, Q&A discussion with experts on each.

PRIVACY — Craig Wills, chair of the computer-science department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, will update his nationally cited research on apparent privacy violations among advertising and social networks. Willis found over half of 120 websites surveyed leaked sensitive and identifiable information to third-party aggregators without knowledge of the user. How might this affect news sites?

IDENTITY — Mary Ruddy, principal of the Identity Commons non-profit and the MIT Eclipse Higgins Project, will explain the Obama administration‘s effort to foster private-sector creation of a competitive network of Internet identity providers. The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace is being embraced by Google, Verizon, Equifax and others. How should the news industry cover, or be part of, these efforts to control user data?

TRUST — At Harvard‘s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Doc Searls has been leading a multi-year, open-source effort, and is author of a forthcoming book. He wants to create software and a network that will allow the public to trust their personal data — their personas — with a new class of vendor-relationship managers (VRM), who answer to individuals, not to marketers and advertisers. Learn how Searls‘s Project VRM vision may differ from what the Obama administration is backing, and why it might represent an opportunity for news organizations.

COMMERCE — Bill Densmore will provide a brief update on the New England Common research collaboration among the Reynolds Journalism Institute, Clickshare Service Corp. and a group of New England newspapers that are testing the idea of a shared-user network for information commerce. He‘ll also reference his August, 2011, RJI report, “From Paper to Persona,” which calls for formation of an independent, non-profit Information Trust Association to provide stewardship over trust, identity and privacy issues.

  • Bill Densmore, Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow and Media Giraffe Project Director at UMass Amherst
  • Craig E. Wills, Chair of the Computer-Science Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Mary Ruddy, principal of the Identity Commons non-profit and the MIT Eclipse Higgins Project
  • Doc Searls, Senior editor for Linux Journal and alumnus fellow with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University

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