Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Alternative Internet Where You're in Control of Your Data

The internet runs on a data economy: There’s no such thing as a free service, and you can bet the true price will be outlined in that lengthy privacy agreement you never read. Designer Sarah Gold proposes an alternative—a civic network that gives users full control over what they share. She calls it “the Alternet.”

The Alternet isn’t anonymous, but it is as private as you want it to be. Gold wasn’t interested in making another dark net; her network is not really about secrecy but about controlled data-sharing. 

“The Alternet is this idea about transparency with your data—you’re not trying to hide your data, it is actually pro-sharing,” she said. She wanted it to be user-friendly, noting that getting on to the dark net made her feel like she was “becoming a hacker.”

To this end, she speaks of the Alternet in terms of data ownership rather than privacy. Even if you don’t require anonymity, you probably want some say in how your personal data is used. When people respond that they have nothing to hide, Gold asks, “Do you have curtains on your bedroom window?”
The idea is that you have complete choice and control as a citizen of this network 
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