Protection

This is the third in a series of blog posts about the Principles of Personal. See also:

Each Principle of Personal is a key requirement of a personal network that distinguishes it from a social network. The first principle is that every member of a personal network makes an explicit promise to respect data shared via the network. The second principle goes hand-in-hand with this promise: on a personal network, all sharing/messaging is by permission.

The third principle is literally the flip side of permission: protection. In other words, if you ask for permission to use personal data, and then do not protect that data from unauthorized access or use, both your promise and the permission are worthless.

This is why the concept of data protection is at the very heart of privacy – so much so that if you do an English Wikipedia search for data protection are redirected to information privacy. Which is ironic because in the European Union, data protection is the operative term, deriving from their landmark Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, first adopted in 1981.

Which brings up an interesting point: when the Connect.Me team was developing the Principles of Personal, some of our advisors in the industry were very surprised to find that privacy was not one of them. However, when we unpacked the five principles for them, they agreed the first three comprise an “operational definition” of privacy. In short:

Privacy is a promise of permission and protection for personal data.

(At his talk at SXSW, Jeff Jarvis, who is writing a new book called Private Parts, had an even more succinct way of stating it: Privacy is the responsibility of knowing.)

But if the privacy protections of a personal network can be summed up by the first three Principles of Personal, what about the other two? How is a personal network more than just a new mechanism for protecting personal data online?

This is the question we will be answering in our final two blog posts about the Principles of Personal – look for them on Monday April 18 and Monday April 25.

(And congratulations again to Phil Sole for winning our Can You Guess The Five P’s contest. Read the Dan Brown story of how he did it.)