Reclaiming control of your data
In this column, and in our public domain data book, we frequently write about issues of geospatial data privacy. In response to what many perceive to be a rapid erosion of data privacy, some attempt to keep their own data as private as possible by hosting their own web apps running on their own computer server. A recent article in Wired discusses one way to do this, with a small device from Indie Box. The Box includes a tools to run a calendar, address book, file sharing, photo album, and an email client. Eventually, its developers want the box’s software to be available so people can use their own hardware. And they also want the box to act as a hub for devices on the Internet of Things.
The philosophy behind using this device and tools reflects the Indie Web Movement, whose followers seek to expand options for opting out of company-run services such as Facebook and Google Drive. Using Indie Box is just one method of “opting out” of sharing their data with national security agencies and private companies–many others exist. The geospatial community has long had options to keep data private. But as web based solutions expand alongside privacy concerns, so too will options to keep geospatial data private and the movement behind it all.