Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Digital Identity

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Social Network Users' Bill of Rights: You Decide

    by Lisa Borodkin, Alexander Howard, Christina Gagnier and Jack Lerner

    The Facebook and Google privacy controversies of Spring 2010 highlighted the gap between technical innovation and user expectations on a global scale, leading representatives of various user constituencies to draft a definitive Social Media Users Bill of Rights for the 21st Century at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference in San Jose, CA.

    The idea of a Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights (#billofrights) has been around for years, but no large user set has actually collated the key values and principles that should go into such a Bill of Rights and put them to a world-wide vote – until now. All privacy law is based to some degree on social norms.

    The panelists and other representatives of various user constituents drafted a definitive Social Media Users Bill of Rights. This kicked off a conversation between Facebook, the ACLU and others affected by technology’s expansion into daily life. The next step is to debate and have a public vote on it. The voting is open from now until June 15, 2011 – the anniversary of the date the U.S. government asked Twitter to delay its scheduled server maintenance as a critical communication tool for use in the 2009 Iran elections.

    As the preamble of the document reads, "We the Users," the “Bill of Rights” document has been released to the public for vetting and debate. This is an important step, both from a future activism and legislative perspective, in the fight to define our digital futures.

    Through this discussion, we will explore the evolution of privacy in the digital age, the changing relationship between users and online service providers, and the social, political and cultural ramifications of life in a networked world – and the SXSWi community will have a say in the development of a watershed document for user rights online.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 11th March

    In Hill Country AB, Hyatt Regency Austin

Saturday 12th March 2011

  • The Why & How of Decentralized Web Identity

    by Ben Werdmuller and Blaine Cook

    The big players in social networking are setting a plodding pace of innovation. New startups, keen to offer useful and exciting new means of communication, have migrated wholesale to platform-based approaches. Constrained by what it means to be boxed into 140 characters or Facebook's vision of a lifestream, we're left without a compelling view of what "social" means on the web.

    It's time to take back our identities, and with it the web. We'll discuss examples of how the web is more Awesome when people are a part of it (and not just a layer on top of a few companies' databases). We'll talk about what kinds of approaches make sense in this new world (and which don't), and discuss some successes (and failures) that have happened along the way.

    Parts of this discussion will be technical; you can't build the web without some HTML, and we can't build a social web without getting our hands dirty. However, tech is boring. You can always look up how to do something - knowing why you want to do something is the hard part. We're going to look beyond the modern gold rush, and talk about ideas that have lasting value for content providers, producers, and consumers, and why you should care.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In TX Ballroom 2-4, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • How Not to Get Pwned on Facebook

    by David Endler

    Social networks are a hacker's paradise. Today more so than ever, it's easy for bad guys(tm) to infect millions of people on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks with little or no effort. Corporate espionage, bank account stealing worms and viruses, frustratingly hard to remove spyware - you name it, social networking makes it that much easier for these things to spread.

    This session will cover some of most effective and amusing techniques that hackers are using today to infect the masses. Focusing on a couple of the more popular social networks, we'll also walk through basic privacy and security checklists that everyone should use to fortify their accounts. Finally, if you suspect your computer is infected as the result of opening a file or visiting a strange link sent from your grandmother on Myspace, etc., this session will demonstrate how to most effectively scan and cleanse your system using free tools.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Big Bend, Hyatt Regency Austin

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • The Science of Influence

    by Marshall Kirkpatrick, Dan Zarrella, Ramya Krishnamurthy and Michael Wu

    Influential people, from journalists and entrepreneurs to investors and developers are idea-generators shaping the ideas we drool over and discuss et infinitum. But who are these people leading the charge? How did they come to be, and rise above the rest to gather a following?

    Sites like Twitter and Facebook are now testing grounds for quantifying the world’s leaders. But do we understand what influence means and what variables are really at play? We all know that a follower count means nothing, but what does a RT mean? Or better yet, what does an @reply by Scoble mean vs. one from Arrington? Beneath the surface is where the science gets really interesting.

    In this panel you’ll hear from the experts who are distilling influence down to it’s basic components. They’ll explain tips for increasing influence, which variables really matter and the types of influence they are discovering across the web.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In TX Ballroom 2-4, Hyatt Regency Austin