I am curious about a price of a car, for no specific reason at all. Surfing on various sites provided me the answer I was looking for. Probably a couple of minutes wasted on nothing, but hey it’s my life. Immediately after I see ads on Facebook about that particular car. Sounds familiar? Seems my surfing behavior is tracked and other people decide what to do with that information. I don’t mind that others know stuff about me. Online I have a very open approach. But still, things like this just don’t feel right. It has an impact on how much I trust that particular online platform. What are the odds of me doing business within this non-trusted environment?

Imagine if it would be possible to turn that around and every individual takes control over his, or her personal information, within a secure and trusted online environment. This will change the whole perspective about our data and it will create new meaningful opportunities, within an environment controlled by its participants. Creating a new social ecosystem of trusted, self-healing digital institutions as ID3 puts it.

ID3 is a research and educational nonprofit, whose mission is to develop this new social ecosystem. Key elements of the new infrastructure are a trust framework for secure, authenticated digital interactions, and a range of customized applications for specific circumstances. Using these tools, people will be able to ensure the privacy of their personal information, leverage the power of networked data, and create new forms of online coordination, exchange and self-governance, according to ID3. This will open up a lot of new possibilities of dealing with organizations, markets and social lives. Even our legal and regulatory systems will be affected by it.

This all might sound vague and abstract, all new approaches are in the beginning. This initiative has to sink in to understand its full potential. Picture this: I am in a trusted online environment. An organization has made an application within that environment that is of interest to me. First of all I don’t have to worry about how trustworthy this organization is, otherwise it wouldn’t exist in this environment. That awareness will put us in a different state of mind, it’s hard to predict what impact it will have on our behavior. As if this wouldn’t be enough, this new ecosystem puts me in the driving seat as well. I am in control of my own information trough a so-called “social contract” which determines the way I like to do business. On the other hand, the organization is 100% sure that I am who I say I am. So when the business relation starts it will be on a foundation of mutual secured trust, strong enough to hold for a lifetime if you ask me.

At this point ID3 has build an open source framework called: “Open Mustard Seed (OMS) Framework”. It contains a lot of features one would expect out of an operating system for the cloud and tools that makes it possible to create applications within a legally constituted trust framework. Basic webapp shells (templates) are the core technical components of the OMS Framework. A complete description and the framework can be found on: http://idhypercubed.org/wiki/ProjectDocumentation

Conclusion: The OMS framework is an interesting innovation, hard to tell what the impact might be. Only time can tell. But it’s certainly one to keep on our radar.