July 2015 was a busy month for Nikolaos Laoutaris, a senior researcher at the Internet research group of Telefonica Research in Barcelona, and member of the consortium developing TYPES. During talks given at Cornell and Yale, Mr. Laoutaris introduced the vision behind the recently created Data Transparency Lab (DTL) and its supporting community.
The talks included examples of the constantly eroding trust that users have for online websites and service, and how this can eventually lead to the de-throning of the web as the communication medium of choice for people around the world. One of the lead Telefonica researchers also drew parallels between today’s privacy problems of the web and events that have plagued TV and newspapers in the past, and showed how all of the above are instances of the basic “Tragedy of the Commons” occurring in multiple efforts of human societies. Mr. Laoutaris summarised the mission of the DTL into “using transparency to avoid a Tragedy of the Commons in the web due to privacy and loss of trust”. Transparency is one of the key pillars of the TYPES project and its mission to build trust in the online environment.