Friday, August 26, 2011

Cool new app to protect on line privacy - Unhosted with Federated Identity

Whenever you post content to the web (images, text, video, music...), it is kept on the servers of that particular application. This means that your online data is stored in centralized servers belonging to various companies, meaning it's not really yours any more.

What if there were a way, that not only ensures security, freedom and control over your data, but also provides a better experience for both users and developers while resolving some of the other issues of the current web architecture?

Unhosted is an open web standard for decentralizing user data. On the unhosted web, data is stored per-user, wherever the user decides. Unhosted is building a framework in which all of a web application's code is run on the client-side, and users have the freedom to choose any remote data storage location they like. The storage nodes use strong encryption, and because they are decoupled from the application provider, users always have the freedom to switch between them or to shut off their accounts entirely.

SURFnet in the coming year are experimenting with a small Proof-of-Concept to see how Unhosted can be joined with a federated identity. If successful, they intend to make a second Proof-of-Concept with an existing (open-source) application. The application will make use of the unhosted standard and it will be run via the SURFconext-collaboration platform ( If the SURFnet pilots are successful, unhosted with federated identity may be the new killer app for the Internet and could help address many concerns that privacy experts worry about in terms of who controls and owns your personal data.

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