One of the main current problems with ShiftSpace is that when a user is visiting a webpage and checking with us if there is a shift there or not, our server (as any other server would) logs and stores the user’s information. ShiftSpace never sees this information, it is not available to anyone, nor is ShiftSpace interested in tracking their users, but we do recognize that this information exists and is stored. Moving forward we want to remove this log entirely, but that’s not enough. Ideally, we should be able to have access to this information at all.
Thinking about this issue brought to mind the notion of traceability on the net. There seems to be a rift between the rise of open-source, social networks and user-generated content on the net and the increasing sense that privacy is being compromised and there is no longer any anonymity in the web 2.0 world.
I recently read an interesting article on the idea of web anonymity and started looking at the concepts of darknet and lightnet. The article by John Walker “The Digital Imprimatur“ says, among other things, that “signing up for cheap broadband service, with its firewalls and dynamic IP addresses, you’ve already compromised your freedom” let alone by setting up “spam filters, anti-virus software” etc. that are “further nails in the coffin of liberty.”
With ShiftSpace we want to be interactive, interoperable, and interconnected yet we also want to protect the users anonymity and respect their information.
The issues we are dealing with are somewhat similar to what other open-source projects are facing, so we want to hear from our ShiftSpace users too… what do you think about privacy, anonymity and online freedom and what does it mean to you? Moreover, if any of you have suggestions, we would love to hear them.