A New Data Deal, starting today

rn1There was a time when personal computer was an oxymoron: a contradiction in terms. That ended when personal computing got real in the ’80s.

There was a time when personal networking, where every person has status, reach and power equal to that of corporations and governments, was unthinkable. That ended when the Internet got real in the ’90s.

There was a time when putting both those powers, plus a zillion mobile apps, in everybody’s pocket, was a pie in the distant sky. That pie reached Earth in the ’00s.

There was a time when clouds were only corporate, and personal cloud was an oxymoron — or worse, just a new term for more data storage. That ends today.

Personal clouds level the market’s playing field by giving full agency to each of us: a place to stand where we can deal as equals with companies, governments, health care providers, lawyers, schools and everything and everyone else in the connected world. In your own ways, and on your own terms. They begin what @Petervan calls The Revolution of the Data Slaves.

You can self-host your cloud (which some also call a vault or a store), or use a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) that hosts your cloud it in an encrypted form that even they can’t see. Either way, your personal cloud (hashtags: #pcloud, #TakeBackControl) is an ideal box for any number of current and future VRM tools, including ones for:

Respect Network is has gathered together a bunch of Cloud Service Providers, along with other companies, development projects, organizations and individuals, for a world-circling launch tour that begins today in London. Tomorrow is an Immersion Day, for digging down into how personal clouds solve problems of privacy and personal empowerment. I’ll be at both, and giving the opening keynote tomorrow.

Next stops on the tour:

  • San Francisco — 30 June and 1 July
  • Sydney — 7 and 8 July
  • Tel Aviv — 14 July
  • Berlin — 21 July

The tour is also a campaign to sign up a million members, each claiming their own cloud name — a sovereign identity that’s yours alone. They explain:

The Respect Network is a collaboration of over 70 companies and open source projects from around the world who share this commitment:

  1. On the Respect Network, every member owns his/her private cloud and cloud name (your =name) that is completely portable for life and not dependent on any single CSP (cloud service provider).
  2. On the Respect Network every personal and business member agrees to respect each other’s privacy and digital freedom.
  3. On the Respect Network, you control your digital identity and relationships. You have the right to be forgotten—or remembered—by any other member.
  4. On the Respect Network you control when and where your personal data is shared and benefit directly from the value earned.
  5. On the Respect Network you are not the product, you are the partner—the network is supported directly by members investing in privacy for life.

I’ll add more here as the day goes on. It’s going to be an exciting one.


  1. Hanan Cohen’s avatar

    Something rang a bell so I searched my email to find I have already registered (in 2004!) am i-name. What can I do with it?

  2. Arthur Oglesby’s avatar

    Frustrated that all the links for Personal Cloud Registration are broken. I want in!

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    They’re fixing them. Last (or first) minute glitches.

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Lots, Hanan. Ask that question again when we’re in Tel Aviv in July. 🙂 (But I’m sure it will be answered earlier.)

  5. Mike Roddie’s avatar

    Arthur – I believe the link at the bottom of the page and the subsequent link from the CSP selector to bosonweb works as does coming direct to http://www.bosonweb.net and scrolling down to chose your =cloudname. I have not checked the other CSPs to know if all is functioning there.

  6. Markus Sabadello’s avatar

    Hanan, you will be able to convert your existing i-name into a “cloud name” and use it in Respect Network! I can give you more information about this, please e-mail me at markus@projectdanube.org

  7. Hanan Cohen’s avatar

    Doc, are you too coming to Tel Aviv??? Wow! Please email me to set up a meeting.

  8. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Another item, Hanan… among Respect Network’s alpha geeks is another guy you know. 🙂

  9. Sally Falkow’s avatar

    That sounds like too much good stuff. When will you next be in LA or Pasadena?

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