A new cloud haven for you and your data

Tired of today’s Web 2.0? Here is a new project I want you to look at.

CloudHaven is a vendor-neutral, common “user platform”. Its goal is to give all its users a “Sovereign home in the Cloud” by creating a user-centric Internet, thus directly addressing problems like:

  • Stalker economy - exploitation of personal data
  • Duplication of effort (login, registration, data entry…)
  • Poor collaboration and inter-app integration
  • Non-interoperable apps, with too different (or uselessly different) user interfaces
  • Poor Security
  • Venture capital-funded and centralized platforms/monopolies
  • Gig economy

In practice, CloudHaven aims to give its users full personal data control while making collaboration and seamless integration of applications much simpler: “What previously were separate bank, healthcare, business, personal, etc. secure messaging systems [become] CloudHaven message components, seamlessly integrated into those systems as if they were a native part of each system”.

How? Simplicity. And centralization

A new cloud haven for you and your data /img/cloudhaven-user-platform.jpg

When done, the integration between CloudHaven hosted personal data, CloudHaven-native user-related functions and third party applications will be simple to implement in a secure way because it will happen in a closed environment, not over the exposed Internet.

This will be a result of an architecture that, unlike many other projects addressing the same problems, sticks to a traditional centralized model, while addressing many of the concerns that have driven decentralization. More details about the architecture and mission of CloudHaven are here.

Why I am interested in projects like CloudHaven

I am convinced that one of the things this world needs more urgently is a real alternative to current social networks. That is why I made in 2013 the percloud (permanent/personal cloud) proposal, which you are very welcome to review through the “reading list” below.

What I like in CloudHaven

As far as CloudHaven goes, I have not had time yet to really study its architecture, and therefore I still have to form a definitive opinion on its “simplicity by centralization”. Nevertheless, three years ago I wrote that the way to go for better cloud services and online identities should be: “Start from individuals, and then add services to their online identities”.

Today Rich Vann, the CloudHaven project founder, describes it in these ways:

  • Think of CloudHaven as extracting all of the user-related data and functions, the “user entity” that currently exists in every application, and consolidating that into a single entity owned by users and under their full control
  • CloudHaven is really host your own “user entity”, not host your own app
  • Instead of each application having many users, each users is served by many applications

This CloudHaven way to define and approach the problem seems much more similar to my percloud proposal than almost anything else I have seen so far. Moreover, Cloudhaven goals and some needs also seem common to another effort, complementary to the percloud, currently carried on also by the FKI (of which I am a board member): the CommonsCloud. I’ll do my best to keep an eye on CloudHaven, and so should you.

Percloud reading list