A new age in privacy and respect for personal data

July 10, 2014
Min read

The Respect Network officially launched the world's first global private network in Australia this past week in spectacular fashion. The gala event attracted the attention of celebrated futurists, privacy enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, founding partners and technology journalists.

Meeco was proud to be featured as a key launch partner along with fellow Australian founding partners Flamingo, Onexus, 4th Party, Welcomer and Geddup. Amongst the hubbub of intellectual chitchat, laughter and the 'clink' of glasses, a sense of hope and transformation resonated among the guests and international speakers.

The launch event confirmed that business, citizens and technological minds can come together to deploy a new vision for humanity that emphasis trust, respect and the sovereign rights of the individual.

The event was opened by Drummond Reed (CEO and co founder of The Respect Network), Doc Searl (Author of The Intention Economy, The Cluetrain Manifesto and the renowned godfather of VRM), Gary Zimmerman (Head of marketing for Neustar), Dr Catriona Wallace (CEO and founder of Flamingo Ventures) and Katryna Dow (CEO and founder of Meeco). The launch event confirmed that business, citizens and technological minds can come together to deploy a new vision for humanity that emphasis trust, respect and the sovereign rights of the individual.

Global launch of The Scary Truth

The Sydney event was used by the Respect Network to unveil their Scary Truth video campaign. A long with a strong call to action to #TakeBackControl, the confronting video illustrates how our personal lives, our actions and our personal data is being watched, tracked and sold by parties outside our control. The video¹ aims to cut through the ambivalence that often accompanies the conversation around our right to personal data and raise the question of who is watching us and what are they doing with that information.

Respect Network Immersion Day and Hackathon

The success of the evening launch set the pace for what followed during the special Immersion Day held as part of the Amplify Festival² at the AMP offices overlooking the beautiful Sydney Harbour. The Morning kicked off with an opening address by Annalie Killian, whom we thank for her initiative in offering to host the Immersion day alongside Amplify, and it wasn't long before the local and international talent had its chance to shine.

Doc Searls started began with his talk “Now Clouds Get Personal.” He steered the conversation to the immediacy of the Privacy Revolution, and how it will shape all aspects of our everyday lives:

“We are at the cusp in history where we can control our own data. We are going to do more with our own data than companies do right now” - Doc Searls

Drummond Reed - CEO of The Respect Network along with Andy Dale – CTO The Respect Network, talked about how the problem of privacy online was not only a problem of business application and integrity, but also one of technological capability. The respect Network were given the opportunity to explain how the XDI (or Semantic Data Interchange protocol) makes the prospect of peer-to-peer private sharing and communication possible for the first time in Internet history.

The immersion day gave Meeco the opportunity to unpack and delve into the philosophy behind its part in the Privacy revolution and its shift towards data sovereignty. It was also the first live demonstration of Meeco, a chance to show off some of the features that make it special. Thanks to Tom Cruise, Stephen Spielberg and their Sci Fi block buster “Minority Report”, Katryna Dow explained how the story of Meeco hatched from an idea and a glimpse into a dystopia where one’s identity was no longer a personal attribute, but a resource for exploitation and commercial benefit. This was a vision that was creeping its way to becoming a reality, until it transformed itself into a solution.

“The average person doesn’t realize the at least 80% of what they do online everyday is actually tracked” - Katryna Dow

She continued to highlight how context is a crucial key to understanding the meaning of big data, and how it is often overlooked when companies form judgments about an individual’s preferences or behaviors. After all, we are the most accurate source of information about ourselves, we should be the ones to control what is known about ourselves.

“Imagine if you have got relevant information to an insurance company – and you are the most accurate source of that – all of a sudden it puts you in a powerful position if you want to exchange that information, as opposed to how it is being collected right now.” - Katryna Dow

Kain Tietzel, director of Growth and Experience at Meeco, spoke about marketing with integrity – and no, its not an oxymoron, the two can work together. This is a challenge that Meeco has had to overcome. Kain’s talk described his matrix moment, as a successful growth hacker who’s reputation and success was founded on the big data enterprise, how can he find a way to maintain respect for individual rights to privacy, whilst steering a business towards success? I guess we will wait and see…

Other guest speakers included Gary Zimmerman, CMO at Neustar, the world’s largest analytics and communications service provider, Katryna Wallace, CEO and founder of Flamingo Ventures, and Meeco’s venturing partner, Brian Grimmer, CEO of Onexus and Present Group.

XDI Hackathon

There was also an all day hackathon taking place where developers and software engineers ‘jammed’ on their code and ideas in order to create an app using the Respect Network XDI protocol.To find out more on some of the ideas and what went down, you can follow the #takebackcontrol feed on twitter, or visit the Amplify Festival (link to come) video podcasts that include all of the speakers throughout the day.

Here is some of what Twitter had to say:

We consumers can do more with our data than companies can do with it. Showing us how Doc Searls at #takebackcontrol Sydney event — Christopher Zinn (@christopherzinn) July 7, 2014
#takebackcontrol Respect Network replaces controlled/surveiled silos of data with P2P secure personal/business clouds pic.twitter.com/UtJ4RHPmhD”What the Data Brokers Have Broken: Shifting from Privacy to Control. http://t.co/jRdZ98eSnM. @ManeeshJuneja @DataCoup #takebackcontrol — John C. Havens (@johnchavens) July 8, 2014
New post: Will the Respect Network enable us to take back control of our data and our lives? http://t.co/RoMnnGcwux³ #takebackcontrol — Ross Dawson (@rossdawson) July 8, 2014


¹ This video is no longer available.

² This web page is no longer available. To view an archived copy click here.

³ This web page is no longer available.

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