Privacy and Encryption

By Steve Gillmor  |  Posted 2004-04-23 Print this article Print

Are you continuing to discuss privacy and encryption issues with EFFs Brad Templeton? Yeah, I know Brad quite well, so I am chatting with him. These kinds of things are very substantial things, and I dont think we are going to be able to get them in certainly before broader release. That would really be rearchitecting the whole back end, which might happen at some point, but I doubt well be able to do that within the three- to six-month period.
Are you using the same group of servers you use for your core service?
Theyre the same kind of servers, but theyre sort of in separate clusters. Obviously, there are some concerns about cross-linking the ability to track searches according to a persons identity. Right. So, those are run separately. Now, I do think it would be handy at some point to provide functionality like being able to know when you log in to Orkut that you have unread messages, and potentially even when you do a search on Google just being able to find out if you have unread messages or not. So, I think were going to look very carefully at what kind of functionality we can provide that does not have any kind of privacy implications. Attention.xml offers a way of tracking what is read and in what order its read at both the RSS feed and item levels. My thought is that we specifically scope this so that we do not have or care about an individuals private information but rather establish the dynamics of the self-forming groups that have similar characteristics. Thats interesting. The kind of thing a lot of people do: Lets say people keep exchanging conversations, you could automatically suggest they join one of these groups and have some sort of an RSS feed associated with that, and you just give them that option or something like that. Yes, and in the same way you can print a conversation, you could also print to RSS. Yeah, thats a very interesting idea. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging Center at for more on IM and other collaboration technologies. Be sure to add our messaging and collaboration news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  

Steve Gillmor is editor of's Messaging & Collaboration Center. As a principal reviewer at Byte magazine, Gillmor covered areas including Visual Basic, NT open systems, Lotus Notes and other collaborative software systems. After stints as a contributing editor at InformationWeek Labs, editor in chief at Enterprise Development Magazine, editor in chief and editorial director at XML and Java Pro Magazines, he joined InfoWorld as test center director and columnist.

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