Respect Network, a newly created group of more than 70 founding partners worldwide has vowed to restore privacy to the Internet by creating a global private cloud service.
The network, launched yesterday at London City Hall, Network is asking people to register for what it claims to be the world's first global network for trusted private data sharing. Users only need to pay £17 for a lifetime membership to the cloud service.
Respect Network CEO Drummond Reed said: "Protection of our digital life is the civil rights issue of our time. Being able to choose what happens with our private information on the Internet is something we should all have the right to do - for our sakes, and for the sake of future generations. Now is the time to act.
"Respect Network takes a fundamentally different approach to ownership and use of information than existing social networks and cloud providers. It puts control back into the hands of individuals and not only gives them the choice of how their information is used, but compensates them for their value. No longer are people unwittingly the product."
The group has also launched the Respect Network First Million Member Campaign, which aims to raise $25m to grow the network. Of this, $8m will go towards a Development Grant Programme to fund development of new applications and service for the network. Reed added: "It's a global 'cloudfunding' that enables people to invest directly in the future of Internet privacy, and reap the reward of starting to capture the value of their personal data and relationships."
As part of their membership, every individual member receives a lifetime 'cloud name' that begins with an equals sign, e.g. =your.name. This is a fully portable, private digital address for life. "Cloud names will become the symbol of this shift towards privacy and personal control on the Internet," said Reed.
By following international principles of Privacy by Design, the Respect Network turns the existing centralised social network model upside down. Instead, every person or business on the network has their own private cloud from the provider of their choice. All sharing is over private peer-to-peer connections between members, with no middleman. This allows individuals and businesses anywhere in the world to share private data as easily as they can share public data on Google, Facebook and other cloud providers, but with the assurance that their privacy will always be respected.
The Respect Network has been in development for more than three years by leading Internet architects and founding partner companies including Neustar, the first real-time provider of cloud-based information services and data analytics. Other UK-based founding partners include Allfiled, Ctrl-Shift, CitizenMe, Digital Animal, miiCard, mydex, MyProfessionalID, Paoga, Social Safe, SmarterComplaints and The Customers' Voice.