Cloud, Openness and Data Licensing

One of the topics that often comes up for discussion these days is data privacy. No doubt about it, data privacy (aka security) is an important topic. And certainly your propritairy data needs to remain safe and not to be exposed outside your organization or firewall without your permission.  At the same time, product development is not only about data privacy and data security. It is also about exposing a significant amount of “public data” your organization produces and consume around your products and product development process.

Consider the variety of regulatory data, publicly available standards, and references; today, it’s also about government data, social media, etc. The question of how you can use this data and how you expose this data are two sides of the same coin and has led me to the question of data licensing and data openness. During the weekend I was reading an article, Survey: How open is your data? Here’s a snippet I found interesting:

We’ve seen a welcome burst of enthusiasm for ‘open’ release of data. This has been driven most visibly by government transparency agendas here and overseas.  Everyone, it seems, finds something not quite right about one of the licenses on the table. Everyone, it sometimes appears, has a burning desire to create their own license that is just a little bit different, just a little bit closer to their world view. Everyone, perhaps, has a lawyer who sees the opportunity to write themselves a blank cheque alongside a new — ’better’ — license. Every local tweak to a common license, however well-meaning, is a barrier to interoperability. Every new license, however laudable the aims behind its creation, is a further complication to an already complicated picture; another excuse to wait rather than do. Although the meaning and the intent may be the same in all of these licenses, every different set of legalese requires careful — repeated — study as everyone else tries to work out whether or not some incompatibility or impediment has (unintentionally, we hope!) been introduced. Unconstrained license proliferation is, simply, bad.

You might be wondering where is Inforbix in this conversation on data privacy and security. No, we didn’t change our business to data licensing consulting. However, here is the deal: the power of Inforbix is to expose unavailable or hard to get at data in manufacturing organizations. Some of this data can be strictly for internal use only.  Your supply chain, partners, recently available open social communities, and special projects may require this data to be available. So the question of security becomes an important one.  So I ask you, how can  mechanisms of data licensing be properly embedded into products which require sensitive or secure data and also be exposed to people outside of your organization?  Is there any experience in your organization with data security you’d like to share with us?  Let us know because we are interested to learn more how your company reconciles cloud, security, openness, and data licensing.

Best, Oleg