[MyData & Open Data] An introduction

Lyre Calliope lyre.calliope at gmail.com
Wed Jun 19 22:16:00 UTC 2013

Hello everyone! My name is Lyre Calliope (@CaptainCalliope on the
twitterz). I'm a free agent recently residing in Boston. I'm a volunteer
for Mozilla as well as countless other projects. A lot of my time right now
is spent organizing hackathons within the civic innovation space which is
how I'm getting to know people in my new city.

My interest in this Working Group comes from wanting to understand the
changing role of data in our lives.

One of my active hypotheses is that the open web is evolving into a primary
computing platform that natively supports functional reactive programming
paradigm principles. (a shout-out to all you programming language theory
nerds out there!) This basically means programming that is fundamentally
data driven and real-time. Given this hypothesis, I think there are
necessary conversations the need to be had about what data in its many
forms means to humanity. Philosophically, architecturally, and everything
in between.

Open data is just one of many forms of data that contribute to a thriving
open knowledge environment. In fact, I'd go a step further in stating that
open data falls utterly short as a means toward building a globally
inclusive open knowledge environment if it can't be nested in strong
personal contexts.. and most of the data processing infrastructure being
built right now are strictly bound to organizational contexts. In the past
few years, cloud computing has thrown this in sharp relief by accelerating
the collection and lock-in of personal data by institutions. This is a
stifling problem.

When considering the relationship between "my data and open data," I think
it isn't really about data at all, but a question of how individuals can
continue to participate within the public sphere when so much knowledge of
how our world works is increasingly tied up in arcane networks of code:
both legal and software.

In order to make engagement of the public sphere truly accessible, we have
some code refactoring to do.

The clarion call that's being converged upon around these topics is for the
creation of new identity infrastructure that enables 'Personal Clouds'.
There's already lots going on in this space, and I'm looking forward to
seeing the unique perspective OKFN can bring to the discussion.

Here are a few links I'd like to share:

A recent article I liked that makes the case for Identity as the key to
personal clouds (right before getting all pitchy about a conference):

Kaliya 'Identity Woman' Hamlin and Phil Windley write on the 'Values and
Vision for the Personal Data Ecosystem.' If you only read one link from
this list, make sure it's this one!

The relevant project to watch at Mozilla is the Persona PICL (profile in
the cloud) project. It's early, but I think this project is the lynch pin
to this entire personal clouds equation.

A project from the MIT Media Lab's Human Dynamics Group that proposes a
novel architecture for personal data ownership that preserves privacy by
sending code rather than data across the network. They are also doing work
on the legal/policy side of this problem space as well:

I'm in talks with a few people at the Media Lab about starting up a summer
project to integrate openPDS with CKAN. If it pans out, I'll share more in
the coming days.

Lyre Calliope
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