Why a Privly Server?
People have asked why Privly needs to build a content server to start with. It is a great question, and it comes back to the issue of privacy. The goal of Privly is to make privacy both easy and automatic, but making privacy automatic is tricky. Right now when you browse the web you are consenting to being tracked by the web site you are visiting, but with Privly, links from malicious servers could track when you read a Facebook wall, email, or just about any other site. This is something you should be concerned about, and allowing people to track you is not acceptable to us.
So how do we give users complete control of their data, while not letting those same users track when the data is accessed? We have two solutions to this problem.
1. We will empower users to decide which data providers they do and do not trust. Initially, Privly will be the only trusted host, but users will be able to remove and add trusted parties at any time, including Privly. We will make this list easy to manage, and encourage industry to adopt Privly's privacy standards to gain default access to the Privly extension network. The content server we are developing is intended as a "reference implementation," but we want the extensions to plug into any server technology. This is what we meant by making Privly a "web standard."
2. The second solution to the browsing anonymity problem is working with peer-to-peer content. This is something we are going to work on in parallel with the content servers, but using P2P for content poses its own set of challenges and tradeoffs, and it is better to add P2P after establishing a hosted content network. Hosted networks are easier to develop, debug, manage, and understand. If users don’t understand how to manage their own privacy, they have none.
Enabling people to control their electronic privacy requires an immense amount of development and education. We hope you will tackle some of these problems with us as we build out our open source framework for content privacy.