Latticework Launches Personal Hybrid Cloud for Private Data-Sharing
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users. To support that big jump in cloud capacity, Sutardja says, the company may begin a fundraising round by the end of the year.
Sutardja wants to build his network as quickly as possible, to give Latticework a head start on other companies that might decide to take a similar approach. “If I expand slowly, competitors would chase me,” he says.
His vision is to grow a huge federation of Amber owners, linked by a company cloud service that provides the minimum functions required to facilitate activity within the network—global identity management, routing to connect users with shared data, and a place to access files held in cloud accounts.
“Data shared from Amber is never automatically replicated in the cloud,” Sutardja says. “Users must explicitly upload a [piece of] content to their cloud account to have LatticeNest keep a copy.’’
Sutardja says the LatticeNest cloud service is hosted on the company’s own servers in a co-location data center, not on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or another commercial platform. It’s more work, he says, but AWS would have cost three times as much. The company says LatticeNest has privacy and security safeguards comparable to those used by other Web-based storage services. The key privacy safeguard, however, is storing most personal data on the Amber server.
Latticework will not sell the data of individuals to third parties, the company says. To start with, the system will collect user names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers, as needed for two-factor authentication and other purposes. The company may ask for more information as it develops additional features. Latticework has no plan to include third-party advertising on the network, but it does intend to promote its own products through the system.
Amber owners can create a number of separate groups of contacts, such as family members, workplace colleagues, and book club friends, and share different files as appropriate with each group, Sutardja says. If the Amber server is a joint possession in a family, each member can carve out a private area within the server and create their own groups of social contacts, he says.
“The purpose is complete privacy,” Sutardja says. “We want to provide that capability.”
The launch of Latticework’s personal hybrid cloud comes at a peak of interest in consumer data privacy protections, not only because of public shock over the mass access to Facebook profiles by third parties, but also because companies worldwide are scrambling to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which stringently enforces the rights of EU citizens to control the use of their own data, no matter where it is held.
“We couldn’t ask for any better timing,” Sutardja says. “I will take luck any day.”