Monday, January 15, 2018

The Internet Society Takes On Digital Preservation

Another worthwhile initiative comes from The Internet Society, through its New York chapter. They are starting an effort to draw attention to the issues around digital presentation. Shuli Hallack has an introductory blog post entitled Preserving Our Future, One Bit at a Time. They kicked off with a meeting at Google's DC office labeled as being about "The Policy Perspective". It was keynoted by Vint Cerf with respondents Kate Zwaard and Michelle Wu. I watched the livestream. Overall, I thought that the speakers did a good job despite wandering a long way from policies, mostly in response to audience questions.

Vint will also keynote the next event, at Google's NYC office February 5th, 2017, 5:30PM – 7:30PM. It is labeled as being about "Business Models and Financial Motives" and, if that's what it ends up being about it should be very interesting and potentially useful. I hope to catch the livestream.


David. said...

The video of the policy meeting is here.

The video of the business model meeting is here.

David. said...

I've reviewed the "business model" video. Vint Cerf gave a good overview to start. Robert Cartolano from Columbia summarized the academic efforts underway, and stressed the huge volumes of scientific data that are expected to be generated. He didn't propose any new business models, and notably failed to say that any of the huge philanthropic gifts devoted to new buildings and research would be available to preserve those huge volumes of data. Brad Burnham of Union Square Ventures talked about incentives for individuals to store their data, but didn't note how (except for Google's exemplary TakeOut system) personal data was typically inaccessible to the person who thus couldn't preserve it.

Vint started the discussion by noting the importance of government funding of research to improve storage and preservation technologies. He also stressed the issue of access control and thus the requirement for identification of the parties to be granted access. Cartolano asked the audience how many had backups in a safe deposit box, and how frequently they were rotated. This revealed that only about a third of the audience were taking steps to preserve their paper documents. Not encouraging for preservation business models!

Two noteworthy points raised in the discussion:

- People should make arragements for their executor to discover their passwords after their death, so that the executor can access their accounts.

- Google has an Inactive Account Manager where you can specify what should happen to your accounts if they are not accessed in a long time.