What is Paige and who cares? On Purpose…

Daren Williams
29 min readOct 23, 2017
WTF Paige?

Author’s note May 2020: This paper was drafted as a working & reference document, and a call to action in 2017/early 2018. The project didn’t launch, primarily due to lack of necessary momentum before the core team where overwhelmed by commercial project priorities.

The references are rather dated, but the subject matter, opportunity and need to act are more relevant and urgent today than they were just 2 years ago…

A gradual yet inexorable awakening to the value of our personal data is underway. So too is the awareness, or at least an increasing suspicion, of the degree to which our information is being harvested and manipulated with impunity by so many agencies and profit-making organisations. In many cases, we even pay for the privilege.

Commercial platforms (both paid and ‘free’), communications services providers, government and non-governmental entities and for-profit organisations have agency over our most sensitive personal information. Mostly with our own tacit consent, predominantly out of sight and almost always without alternative or meaningful choice.

How much do we really want to give away?

Terms & Conditions are binary; accept them or you don’t get to use the service.

We have evolved a wilful blindness to legal terms and developed a click & accept habit. Just “because everybody is doing it”, or because we simply don’t care, or feel we have no alternative.

If financial services were pushed with such beligerence and arrogance, with such toxic and blatant intent, there would be widespread uproar, rebellion and regulatory repercussion.

Our inability to combat the mass and mess of wholly undemocratic surveillance and intercept legislation (which has jumped onto the same for-profit ‘legitimate interest’ bandwagon, to an extent) is yet another area where ‘justified’ interception, unrestrained synthesis and exploitation with impunity thrives, hiding behind those shamelessly hijacked ‘public interest’ shields.

And there doesn’t seem to have been much we can do about it. More often than not, its just too damn complex for the average person in the street.

Overwhelming Complexity & Volume.

The realisation of the extent to which these personal, private and sensitive data are being lawfully and unlawfully intercepted by a huge range of private, governmental and (more and more frequently) unlawful or harmful agencies, has exposed privacy as a myth.

We are giving away far, far more than we ever realised was possible, and most of us would ever agree to — if only we were aware of the extent of the problem.

India’s top court unanimously ruled on Thursday that individual privacy is a fundamental right, a verdict that will impact everything from the way companies handle personal data to the roll-out of the world’s largest biometric ID card program. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi — (August 2017).

The shock in this case where the Indian Government argued not only against Privacy as a fundamental right but, further, that individuals were not natural owners of their personal data, is not the outcome of the ruling but that the action was brought in the first place. The Indian government were extremely confident that it would survive judicial scrutiny and prevail.

As welcome and useful (as precedent) as this ruling was, all that it has really achieved is to push the same surveillance activity into the shadows — under the shield of National Security and the flawed moral justification that ‘all governments are doing it’.

Privacy is a fundamental product of dignity. Nobody dare argue that human dignity isn’t a fundamental right, right?

What is being harvested goes way beyond the generally accepted definition of Personal Information; so much is being collected, profiled, analysed and acted upon that it would fall into the category of weaponised intelligence were the shoe on the other foot — in other words, if such data was being exported from the US, or EU territory, for example.

Increasing coverage of the power and potential (including monetisation) of our personal data, through the unlimited license we freely afford Internet Search, Social Media, CSPs and other agencies (hereafter referred to as ‘the giants’), is starting to get real attention.

“Once people wake up to the value of their personal data, they’ll start hiding it under their mattress and locking it away in the hotel safe along with the camera and passport” — John Caswell.

How much are we giving away? And what is it really worth?

Identity theft and online fraud are just the tip of the iceberg ; yet these criminal industries (because well organised industry is what they are) most successfully target apathy, disinterest, complacency and ignorance — not only stupidity, laziness or known technical and social vulnerabilities.

There is no awareness of the true extent of classically criminal abuse of our data, or real privacy, environmental, wellbeing and financial impacts.

The status quo — where our movements, browsing and viewing activities, social, consumer, entertainment and even our faith, political and sexual preferences are surveilled, scored, evaluated, synthesised, manipulated, sold and resold — cannot prevail.

Certainly without unhealthy consequence — real and profound harm, not just a simmering sense of fiscal and social injustice.

Faced with the reach, resources, success, celebrity and influence of the giants, it is little surprise that few tools or utilities exist to successfully counteract disproportionate control and advantages they wield.

Those projects which do gain traction are too easily combatted by absorbsion into the giants themselves, or by being sucked into the VC ecosystem which feeds those underlying search, ad-tech and influence business models in the first place.

In the 20th Century, we learned to expect a balance of rights: the material influence of society, consumers, service users and democratically enforced public interest.

In the 21st Century, this balance does not exist.Personal data and information about our activities are intercepted without consequence to the perptrators on an industrial scale — a radical distortion of the hard-fought natural, democratic and ‘fair; world order we had come to expect.

Balance is important here…

There is tremendous value in understanding and trading our data. ‘Them vs Us’ populist activism is counterproductive, and in any case too easy to defeat or discredit.

Such approaches have proven ineffective and rather miss the point of what’s happening in society.

In our case, such activism (or being painted as activists) would actually distort the purpose and objectives of our project and, therefore, the prospect of successful execution (even if our products end up becoming enablers for such missions).

Data sharing simply is the 21st Century lifestyle.

Today, sharing data is the fundamental transactional basis of everyday life.

To campaign against this rapid and natural evolution vs. the valuable, important, useful, socially enabling technologies and compelling services is rather pointless and hypocritical — after all, these are the very technologies and services we use, advance and enhance in our day jobs.

You are using one, right now.

Tipping Point or a long-established reality?

An effective and efficient approach is one which asks different questions and aims to establish collaborative endeavour without losing direction or diluting mission; one which cooperates with the giants without being drawn into their business structures. One which welcomes and extends the spirit and intention of emerging data protection legislation, at the same time as offering a chance to re-balance clumsy, sinister or poorly implemented initiatives (a la IPA 2016 or the very welcome start that is GDPR in May 2018).

Instead, our idea is a platform / persona — a first-person digital agent we’ve named ‘Paige’ (we describe Paige in more detail below).

Paige needs to play nicely with Alexa, Assistant, Siri, Cortana, etc., because it will be a bridge for these enabling and constantly evolving services & gateways — at the same time, Paige must be fiercely vendor-and-agency independent — a champion of the unique consumer to which it is bound.

Although based on entirely different business models, constitution and set of objectives, we are looking not to prevent sharing but, rather, to find more elegant ways to address this C21 stranger danger.

Paige aims to ensure its constituents are educated, informed and empowered, helping them learn how to look both ways before crossing the superhighway is crucial to adoption and success; as are trust, attractive, practical and useful tools and mass adoption. Tools which combat apathy and resignation to the perceived might of the giants, afford far greater balance of privacy protections and recapture more of that value for ourselves, if that is what we choose.

Sharing data is the quid-pro-quo for many useful, valuable and attractive services we all rely on and enjoy. Paige is not activism or competition for those services and providers, but rather enabling utilities which tip the balance of informed choice and, ultimately, greater control back in the favour of the consumer.

Paige will be an amalgam of over-the-top (OTT) tools which raise awareness of what’s being given away, its value and what alternative choices exist — combined with simple enablers which allow individuals to execute a full and fair range of those choices.

Paige, in and of itself, must also be accessible, valuable and attractive to capture imagination, gain momentum and achieve mass adoption through all segments.

Paige must be what we call ‘sticky’ if we hope to adjust the current direction of travel.

Privacy, anyone?

“Privacy is a choice” — Gavin Starks (and…Yevgeny Zamyatin)

Compelling, pragmatic, attractive, useful and impactful tools which enable custodianship and informed consent and decision making around our personal and sensitive data [and what we do with it].

“I love the concept of data philanthropy and sharing our data for the wider societal good (for example- in understanding disease and identifying treatment, all powered by AI etc). But once people start to recognise the true value of their data, both for themselves and for society, and technology and regulation supports greater citizen control, businesses will be forced to rethink their business models.” — Tina Woods.

Trusted data trading platforms, ‘data exchanges’, need to exist in the personal data ecosystem. Where data is treated as property/currency and privacies are treated as absolute unless and until we make explicit choices to limit them; in return for a fairer share of the benefits and value of those trade-offs

Trading platforms for exchange of Data (TIP-Tradeable Information Package)

The ‘personal information account’ has to start somewhere, and it needs to be informed by the same intuition and micro-focus we naturally develop around personal income and expenditure. Crypto currencies and associated blockchain technologies light the way toward elegant methods for valuation of a given data set, one which naturally establishes an open marketplace and where smart contracts may serve as Information Package trading instruments; but they are not the panacea many jumping on the current bandwagon will have us believe.

Furthering the data as currency argument, protection of those data and privacy need to be governed by enforceable regulation in the same way as banks and financial institutions; after all, our intel is more valuable than our cash transactions, it has the power to influence outcomes of national and regional elections, to cause divisions and schisms in society, further single issue causes (a la NRA), offend against enshrined rights or catalyse social power-shifts in ways as yet not imagined.

Even the most bullish of Administrations or commercial organisations interfere with domestic or international financial markets at their peril — and this should be the case with personal intel.

But, how to do it? The concept of ‘Trusted Third Party’ is terminally discredited; inability to protect, complacency, mission distortion, incompetence, ignorance, corruption, untrustworthiness and, too often, a combination of the above, abound.

“We have become so extraordinarily de-sensitised to abuse of our personal data (over the convenience of the connected world we now inhabit), that we are continually seduced by the wrong dialogue — who are the ‘right’ custodians of our data? Who can best be trusted to be competent, to do no harm, to be transparent about our asset, its value, what it is being used for and ensuring it is protected?

Well, it turns out that nobody [No body] can. There is no trusted third party — the concept itself is oxymoronic.

The only natural and trustworthy-by-default custodian of data are the owners themselves. How do we bring in the age of Trusted First Person?” — Daren Williams.

So — how do we get greater Citizen Control? How do we achieve that fundamental shift from Platform / Organisation to Person / Human centricity? Going further, from human-centric to humanity-centric design [a la Copenhagen Letter and MyData]?

How do we achieve “Informed Choice & Consent”, making our intel; information about ourselves (increasingly treated as property in law) more valuable to ourselves, not only those who seek to exploit it under shrouds of secrecy, clumsy or poorly influenced legislation, cover of ‘legitimate-interest’, deliberate legal complexity, obfuscation and misdirection?

And how do we keep track of such choices, decisions and informed actions?

Choices and actions which can be easily referenced, evidenced and modified as our preferences, choices and wishes evolve at the pace of the digital age?

We need to go beyond ‘personal data & identity vaults’ which sit in the cloud. We need tools which have a far deeper, more personal capability and impact which aligns with and supports many of these emerging initiatives.

Digital wallets, data vaults, bespoke cryptocurrencies, blockchains, smart contracts and AI are all technologies with great potential, yet they still have extremely limited constituency and application.

Digital Vaults, partial solutions? Solving the right problem?

Some projects die in the face of overbearing, manipulative VC or other stakeholder scrutiny and mission corruption; many more fail the independence test, and too many occupy space in limited (and limiting) geekery.

Few actually deal with educating the individual and building an ecosystem for privacy, utility and realisable value for the individual vs. shareholder value for the corporation.

It is all too easy to be distracted by the key arguments and potential value as projects take on ‘business principles’.

“Everybody knows the big social media platforms are watching what we do, it is just part of the game…” — expressed by a 14 year old, and echoed by a terrifying number of 13–16 year olds!

We have an approach which views the problem from a different perspective. We are great supporters and champions of those technologies in the geek zone, and they will form essential components of the tradeable data, Paige & Impact ecosystem.

Our approach is founded on a few simple conclusions; ‘our truths’:

1. Awareness (and interest) is increasing, yet woefully low; catalysts are needed to support the 4 pillars of impact for our digital habits: Privacy, Environment, Wellbing, Finance

2. Privacy is [must be] a choice — and it should be both informed, consensual and enforced (empowered)

3. understanding or ‘giving a damn’ does not yet exist at sufficient scale; once awareness of both exposure, impact and potential value increase, then tools which occupy this space will become ‘hot’

4. Geekery and populism get in the way. Any enabler, tool, service or product must be compelling in its own right; attractive to the point of viral adoption — App Celebrity, if you like

5. When we start, rightfully, treating personal information as currency (not only an enabler for monetisation), viral impact and consumer activism toward control, regulation and equity is essential and inevitable

6. We welcome and embrace pragmatic data & privacy regulation [a la PSD2 & GDPR], and wish to bring about the tools which not only ensure such regulation is meaningful and enforceable, for the benefit for consumers, but which increases the pace and scope of regulatory technology to at least keep up with key technological innovation and adoption.

7. Our intention — our charter, if you like, must be retained as we reach scale. If we allow our products to be disproportionately influenced by those very agencies we are seeking to re-balance, or by investor or owner distortion of mission, then we will have failed.

Paige must be pragmatic, intuitive, easy to obtain and use, valuable and attractive. These are the ingredients to stickiness, which is essential to viral adoption and, thus, the scale and impact we seek.

It cannot be ‘just another digital assistant’ and must do reasonably complex things, such as collect and contextualise event and data pairs, and it must interact in real-time with its constituents in a way which is at the same time open (as an organisation, entity, character) and discrete (in what, how and when communication occurs) with users in a way which protects their integrity, dignity and sanity.

Our initial research and service design efforts (from our IoT inspired ideas way back in 2014/5) concluded that an optimum channel for distribution / penetration was an inside device (soft or hard), connected to a range of cloud hosted services (for architectural, performance, safety, privacy, continuity and service connector purposes), and which serves two key functions / roles:

Guardian & Guru; a healthy codependency.

Paige; Guardian first and foremost.

First and foremost, Paige is your privacy & data [personal intel] champion, the keeper of all things digital. It watches your activity and session data and tells you what’s going on with it. Where it shows up, who’s using it, what they are using it for (assumed or evidenced), what’s the value [to them and to you], what’s the risk, what you are giving up and what you are giving away. What you agree to and what you don’t — the ‘so what’ questions front and centre on your personal digital dashboard. Importantly, once you understand this, it helps you know what you can do about it.

Paige looks everywhere you want it to ; in the home, in the cloud, social media, commercial, government and healthcare services. It will cover all devices and all personas (instances of You), wherever they show up.

Once you know what’s happening, you have choice over what to do with it; block it, delete it, extend it, trade it [assuming trading platforms are in place], negotiate it, swap it. For any given definition of ‘it’, Paige is your pathway to capturing data custodianship for yourself. Not fighting Google, Amazon, Apple, Governmental or other giants, but finding a better, just, equitable, fair and sustainable way of exchanging your data asset.

“Paige is your smart and adaptable personal guardian — your not so secret-agent. It is the persona watching out for your digital self — your consort for the countless digital instances of you. It is informed by human and humanity centric principles which not only look out for you, but further the initiatives and services you opt-in to — keeping a watchful eye out for any which stray from your personal value set [your ‘Datum’]”

Paige-wan Kenobi…

We have a couple of gurus in our team. Sean and Veronica can work magic with all things connected. They can fix your Android, iOS, OS X, linux, wintel or other devices. They will help you configure all your smart office services from Confluence, to basecamp, from O365 to Jira and from Wiki to Twitter. They set up the firewalls, permissions, rules which protect devices, data, domains and accounts. They police the network, assure data continuity and maintain brand protection. They sort out the printers, smart sensors and devices ‘in the hive’, your SecureID and sso credentials, crypto wallets, virtual cards and PFMs.

They make your environment (home) truly smart by not only configuring it, but synchronising it with your personal needs, rhythms and preferences. They know how to secure the IP weak spots and wifi notspots in your connected home and they know how to work YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Slack, WebEx, BlueJeans, Basecamp and the endless stream of collaboration platforms. They know how to set up your biometric security and they can explain and configure bitcoin wallets.

They know just how to help and protect your kids online — with your support, without invading their privacy or autonomy. They do so much more. Everyone should have a Sean and Veronica.

Paige is the Sean & Veronica for everybody.

Paige is you personal tech guru [bot] with the human touch — it will work in two modes, either ‘show me’ or ‘do it’ mode — depending on your preference and degree of interest. Paige’ prime directives are not only to ‘do no harm’, but to protect you [& yours] from it whilst helping you hone your estate and harvest maximum value from your digital selves.

New reality or identity crisis? Many instances of ‘self’.

We see four distinct elements to the Paige proposition

  1. Guardian
  2. Datum
  3. Guru
  4. Complementary Partner Services

Guardian first as it’s reasonably complex and seems to be where most of the early value can be leveraged. There are accelerators and existing services which will help bootstrap / assemble the base, and from which we will extend to form the MVP pilot product.

The Guardian Digital Agent — Paige — will be our personal assistant, our online self or ‘avatar’, serving our needs 24x7x365 and helping balance our privacy, environmental, wellbeing and financial needs and choices in the digital space.

Guardian must have a first version of the user profile / datum.

Paige must be the datum — the one true original and sovereign version of ‘us’ online.

Our rollout idea will be to create small islands of stability and success (releases, based on Agile DevOps principles) forming the foundation for the platforms as they evolve.

These islands will be individual users (‘Paiges’) and defined Paige collections of users (immediate family, extended famility, community, group, company, organisation, etc.).

The islands can be created quickly as this will be, initially, be a test product using existing open public license and pre-built services (from the founder-team, for example) — an assembly project rather than a from-scratch development.

Paige can then increase in value as these islands connect and become more active and impactful over wider user & stakeholder groups.

The project should be open.

Community based and (ideally) community funded. This will help to enforce from the very beginning the fierce independence from any commercial, social or governmental interests and influences.

There is no intention to reinvent the wheel and our first insincts are re-use and collaboration; we’ll stand on the shoulders of giants by re-using / re-platforming some of the most innovative and well developed products already out there while fully respecting their IP (as applicable, although we will tend to open source), and enriching them through aggregation and extension.

We intend to use https://www.turris.cz/en/ (open-source & open-hardware secure access point and router developed by a non-profit TLD administrator) services as a key accelerator for the first elements of the Guardian platform; enriched by early Paige prototype services created in 2015 and other selected, cherry-picked, accelerators. There are a range of options for secure, centralised digital vault / validation / passport — but these need to be reviewed and debated by several stakeholders.

We’ve always shown up differently in various situations; work, play, family, friends, formal, informal, etc. Today, even the most technologically conservative of us have hundreds of personalities (online profiles) which may vary wildly depending on the original timing, context, platform, purpose, role, etc.

As robotics and AI advance we will, inevitably, be looking at ways to establish more and more sophisticated versions of our bilogical-selves and, ultimately, ‘virtual immortality’ as our digital selves live beyond our physical frame.

We are beyond the tipping point for some who spend more time in their digital communities than they do in the physical, and significant proportions of the population engage primarily online rather than ‘real’ social engagement.

There are already countless profiles of us out there, created by 3rd parties and used to surveil, sell, market or micro target for a range of purposes. These profiles hold an extraordinary range of information about us and we may never know quite what that information is (notwithstanding potential of GDPR data in Europe).

Regardless, whether it is for establishing the first blueprint for our immortal selves, or to make a start in building a first ‘official’ profile over which we have control, the idea of a single (maintained) digital self is worthy of exploration (for the purposes of utility in the first instance, as we try to sidestep some of the more complex moral and socialogical considerations which we have stuck into the ‘too difficult’ bucket right now).

Our idea would be to establish a master profile of ourselves. It can be as light-touch or in-depth as we like. Paige will be informed by, and will be able to do smart things on your behalf, using this master reference we are thinking of as a datum. This value set; a profile of the ‘original you’ [or a specific community or personality] reflects personal choices, preferences, philosophies, principles and values which guide your digital persona and would even be enhanced to automate certain things you do online, repetitively; order supplies, groceries, special deal items immediately they become available (event tickets, etc.), bid in online auctions, or simply carry out as much of the to-do list as possible.

We suggest that anything a personal assistant would be able to do for you would be possible through a combination of your datum (the decision engine) and the utilities afforded by Paige.

Your datum will be stateful, very personal and non-invasive; tokenised data secured by advanced cryptography, your initial datum will be established through natural language conversations with Paige during setup; and evolved through event triggers and machine learning as time goes on.

What are the minimum features for launch?

Using an old SAS analogy, the idea would be to establish a secure forward operating base; an island of stability from which the Paige platform can evolve but which, in its MVP form, already represents significant value for its first adopters.

  • Sits inside home network (later, inside office network) installed on existing [range of] devices, hosted, secured and executed in the cloud
  • Provides a data dashboard — with Snapshot of what’s being done with the data (mouse/touch over datastream) — extension which needs to be developed (plain language library — enhanced by event driven data — to explain each data stream)
  • Live representation of Internal and external data streams from all devices — connected with smartphone captured data (location, findme, etc.)
  • Connect to used social networks (supported in MVP will be Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn, Skype and Google) to enable Paige to:
  • Provide simple dashboard-like overview of data provided/collected on these and who can access those
  • Summary & detailed history of provided consents (digitally signed? incorporated into distributed ledger for non-repudiation)?
  • Enable user to select predefined personas ranging from total-privacy to fully-public data
  • Compare collected data with user-selected persona and outline any discrepancies
  • On the data and consents drive user how to change those to a desired settings
  • Event driven triggers to suggest ‘just-in-time’ links to video & additional services
  • Vault for local instance of Personal Value Set — ‘Datum’
  • Gathers feedback in real-time about what’s wanted / needed ‘Over the Top’
  • Describes Paige Roadmap — based on user ranking of desired services
  • Set out value (today) and potential value (tomorrow) of personal data
  • Set out just how much data is being collected — and how
  • What to do about it
  • Key Terms and Conditions for top 15 sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple [iCloud], WhatsApp, Skype, etc. etc.)
  • What data is being used for (lawfully)
  • What data is being used for (unlawfully)
  • Common dangers — and what to do about them (get Paige, for example…)
  • Flag dangerous traffic / addresses / sources / activities
  • Define common choices and ‘what to do’ options (make it easy)
  • Popular / topical content (a living help blog)
  • Other instruction video based on FAQ experience from Pilot
  • Leverage possibility provided by GDPR to:
  • Request user data in a machine-readable format and perform automated audit on those
  • Empower user to manage GDPR-related consents, esp. easy ability to revoke them and/or request data deletion
  • Blanket repository (TPS on steroids) which will be enshrined in GDPR practical applications
  • Integrate also with key eShop and Telco/Utility providers
  • Enable 3rd party development of various network integrations
  • Establish VPN tunnel for whole local network to further increase level of privacy
  • Ability to download data (incl. posts, photos, videos, location history etc.) from social networks and other locations for backup/long-term archiving purposes and also for service-provider migration
  • und, und

Guru next as this is a more complex solution which cannot rely solely on open-source components. One key platform which is not tied to any commercial organisation or business model, which enshrines and extends privacy and protection principles without having to sacrifice experience or utility.

Guru MVP

Complexity, Scale, Velocity — Gonna need a bigger boat…(source, Intel Corp.)

The requirement would be to launch Minimum MVP for Guru as ‘necessary and sufficient enablers for Guardian services; in the first instance’.

The ultimate objective is a self-learning, self-configuring mesh device which configures and synchronises your devices to the rhythms and persona of your worlds.

  • Host for Guardian local agent / instance (Guardian logic will reside in the cloud, and can be consumed by local instances as necessary)
  • Host for Guru and complementary services
  • Guru hive (cloud based central services and repositories)
  • Guru IoT mesh (connectors and service hub for all smart devices inside fixed network (smart space) and mobile
  • Listener / Gatekeeper for configured services — Guardian with priority, then other enabling optimisation services
  • Natural Language based setup experience — develop baseline configuration and policies (Establish & Manage Datum)

Some possible items on the Guru roadmap (MVP to be discussed and baselined):

  • Manage devices connected to local network
  • Visually display all discoverable devices, incl. Phones, computers, printers, APs etc.
  • Manage existing Wifi Access points (SSIDs, passwords)
  • Easy adding and automate setting up addition Wifi AP
  • Enable extension (USB dongle?) for IoT protocols — initially Z-Wave
  • Manage selected Z-Wave devices — initially:

i. Utility (electricity) Smart Meters

ii. Access Control

iii. Thermostat & heating system

iv. Smoke detector

v. Smart sockets/bulb

vi. Electrical window shades

vii. Provide home-automation rules (“IF x THEN DO y”, IFTTT)

viii. Web-Cam related services

ix. Function:

  • Security system (motion detection, raise email/SMS or any IoT event if motion detected)
  • Video door-bell
  • Baby monitor
  • Support directly (USB) plugged webcams, IP webcam or re-purpose smartphone/tablet into one
  • Manage data backup and archiving from

i. Computers

ii. Smart-phone/tablets (esp. rrom various Apple/Google clouds)

iii. Other (IoT configuration files, for example)

i. Local storage (NAS, flash-disk)

ii. Cloud storage (trusted, pre-integrated providers)

iii. Long-term archive (DVD, Cloud Jukebox, etc.)

  • Provide client with options to use existing software / services — we don’t want to implement own backup SW
  • Automate the SW setup installation & configuration based on discovered profile
  • Storage and Content ‘Administration’ — commonly, in case a device (laptop, smartphone) is running out of space, offer customer to archive some older, not accessed recently, files (photos, videos etc.) — based on services setup above
  • Manage virus & malware protection
  • Ensure that all devices have installed & updated anti-virus/malware SW
  • Remote & Local Printer / production device setup
  • Setup local printer(s) and automatically set it up on all home (managed) devices, incl. advising users how to use it from smartphone/tablet
  • Entertainment (TV, music) setup
  • Guide users on how to setup a smart TV or (internet-enabled) music system and how to integrate it with home NAS (if one exists)
  • Advise users how to control/stream content (music, video, photos) on them from their other devices (smartphones, tablets etc.)
  • Manage “guest/party” network sub-section for short-term guests with restricting their access from accessing e.g. NAS, printer etc.
  • Vulnerable users protection — advise user on how to best protect kids / other vulnerable communities through internet access, location and other advisory resources, smart switches, event monitors, etc.
  • Enable datum ‘digital me’ assistant services

Again, the purpose is first seek to assemble; not to reinvent the wheel, but rather to recommend (and if interested help to install & configure) trusted, and proven software and services.

Paige can also be a multi-layer protection (device-installed SW, blocker in Internet gateway)

Simple architectural concept, complex implementation…

We will have community-driven roadmap where users will be able to propose and vote on their priorities. Also we will analyse how users, who gave explicit consent, interact with the Paige and what online services they use.

Ideas are easy, execution is everything!

One step at a time. We’ve already invested a fair amount of energy into our initial research and are bringing ourselves back up to speed through these activities (having committed much of the past 18 months to developing commercial product for Banking and Fintech sectors).

We feel there’s a far better way than developing just another digital assistant operating only within a walled-garden universe. Paige has to be different — a different business model, different Charter, different(ly motivated) stakeholders and actors to those products we currently develop for ourselves and our clients.

Natural next steps (done, underway, to do) are to engage with others — to form a ‘coalition of the capable’ — and to introduce the same rigour to this initiative as we do to our commercial projects.

  1. Challenge and Refine this (and other) discussion paper — incorporate other platforms / capabilities and sharpen it up — turn it into a clear, concise proposition — challenge the extent to which we can launch Guardian First, Guru Next. Collaborative effort — template agnostic — these notes are a starting point — ‘something on paper we can disagree with’…
  2. Continue introductions to a small, yet capable, crew who can cooperate to set and execute key objectives and products
  3. A Hack — (not a Hackathon); but a physical coming together examine the extent to which we have enough in common, and the makings of a coalition of the capable; To sharpen the exam question, the mission, define first base and set out the journey to get us there
  4. Investment in combined SVT pathway and lean inception (Service Design) workshop
  5. Partnership proposition — who shall be inside — and who will we need to cooperate with?
  6. Checkpoint and costing review and funding strategy
  7. Initial ideas ✅✅✅✅
  8. Introductions (some) ✅✅✅
  9. First iterations of discussion documents (short, Gdocs, long version)✅✅
  10. Challenge and refine the paper(s); GDocs discussion document which can be co-edited (invitations to follow)
  11. More introductions — Gavin Starks, John Caswell, William Heath, AJ Eriksen, — discussions with others not yet invited to review and comment paper (e.g. Sille Sepp (MyData), Phil Boothe)
  12. Profile a number of existing, symbiotic programmes (per William discussion 18.09.17) — 12–16 in number — add to paper / resource pool (William already has underway)✅
  13. Hack: Meeting (suggested date on or around 16th November 2017 — venue TBC, most probably in London (Gavin kindly offered to host, but this should be confirmed)). DW to send update and invitations
  14. Refine Scope, establish Phases and associated budget estimates
  15. Constitution & Structure
  16. Secure funding
  17. Execution…..
  18. Rinse & Repeat

We have several ideas how to incentivise/monetise future collaborators and vendors to further add, enhance and maintain components, plug-ins and services in general in the Paige ecosystem.

Some of these ideas are based on use of smart-contracts, probably (but not necessarily) block-chain based, that will automatically track service use and then distribute “community credits/tokens” which can be then monetised against fees raised from users, connected services etc. (pegged-chains?). This can be theoretically coupled with an ICO event.

These ideas are to be further explored at the hack — nevertheless they are relevant only once the Paige ecosystem reaches critical mass and not to finance initial development phases.

Of course unless we decide to use ICO event to raise necessary initial funds.

Core will be a non-profit-type org (coop?) that will be focusing primarilyy on the “Guardian” part. Goal is to remain fiercely independent from commercial and government influences.

Guru-type services may be provided from a traditional (commercial) structure that will serve to boot-strap marketplace ecosystem for similar service providers.

For practical reasons it is clear that both elements will be initially delivered by the same team. Nevertheless the separation (demarkation line) between fully-independent Guru and on-top Guardian services should be clearly established from IP perspective, system architecture, technical design and organisational structure — so (expected) future separation is as natural as possible.

TBD — smartcontracts, “community credits”

References, Resources,

Dgen constellation approach

Fundraiser campaign (focus on security and privacy was key campaign’s key pitch)

(funded 857% over target!)

Turris Omnia is open-source and open-hardware developed by non-profit organization that managed CZ TLD. It’s focused on providing fully-trusted, secured, gateway for home users. Also by leveraging big-data analysis on top of anonymized data flows collected (opt-in) from these gateways it can identify suspicious data flows caused by yet-unknown virus, or privacy-leaking device.

(unfortunately page available only in Czech)

This product is very close to our original vision of Home Paige — with the problem that is is controlled by a Telco owned by a banking group (clients of ours)… and right off the bat, therefore, allows user data to be further exploited by the service provider as a ‘Condition of Service’ for this highly attractive and valuable capability.

The technology proposition and foundation can be similar — but Guru needs to be built on a use and business case which doesn’t rely on the subordination and misappropriation of users data, but quite the opposite.

The stakeholders, then, must buy into a very different business model — or community interest model — with a constitution / structure and guiding principles which sustain the mission, no matter what. This means that if the project fails, we must be willing to allow IP and other asset to be transferred so the mission can continue, even if the organisation does not.

Mydex (being branched to ‘Datilda’)

Pillar has created a cryptocurrency to fund their mission. They sold $20m of ETH in Q3 — so it will be interesting to watch them and see how they evolve.

Pillar is different from HAT, in that it creates a cloud-based vault which enables data trade — this will be an essential part of the personal data ecosystem — but seems to be stuck in the realms of geekery and we need mainstream.

MIT CSAIL collaboration with TB-L for alternative to anti-social platforms

Who owns your data?

This might be considered, by some, to be a stretch. We don’t necessarily agree — in general, anything which leads to more equitable outcomes will, at the very least, support the SDG goals in part. Here are some first ideas of how Agency over a valuable and tradeable asset may sustain the goals (quite apart from the social justice element which enshrines the whole effort):


01 (all!), 3.8, 3B & 3D, 08 — particularly 8.10

09 — particularly 9.2, 9.3, 9A — 9C;

10 — particularly 10.2, 10.3

Sample of L0 Context we feel will be useful for discussion and positioning (this is Fintech version, only for reference/ideas)


Originally published at medium.com on October 23, 2017.



Daren Williams

Chief Innovator & Disruptor at Consorticon Group. Opinion may contain elements of truth, but truth must always be free of opinion.