I’ve been following some of the issues Mike Macgirvin has been talking about that can exist as a challenge in the hurdle to cross-federate with other services: in a nutshell, federated apps should work together to ensure a comparable policy base between applications.
Smoothing over “policy differences” is something that cannot be
achieved by mandating a protocol (unless these are part of the protocol
definition). It would require enumeration of the issues involved and a
concerted effort ` to come up with an acceptable policy base.
I think this is fundamentally important. There are certain things between #Diaspora and #RedMatrix that are currently incompatible in terms of default privacy settings.
Below are some points Mike has made that I think could provide a good starting point:
The service needs to be able to deliver private posts to a specific set of recipients. Otherwise we can’t put those folks in “aspects” (privacy collections).
The service needs a way to delete a previously posted post/comment/whatever across the entire network (or at least along the path that it was posted). Deleting from API services that are cross-posted is probably impossible, but there’s no excuse if there’s no federated delete mechanism on the federated service.
(This is a new issue but important) The service shouldn’t leak private posts/mail via notification emails.
The service should have some way of including a private photo in a post, besides an obscured URL that can be fusked.
We probably need some kind of common definition of what a “friend” is in terms of access rights, both a one-sided friend and a mutual friend. For instance GNU-social connects as a “follower” and can see published posts from the followee. Diaspora is the other way around - you “share” your posts with somebody but if I recall can then see the sharee’s public stream (posts are sent to the sharer) without requiring the sharee to reciprocate or approve this. They are public, but the sharee’s site is using resources to send these posts so the sharee should have a choice in my opinion. Friendica and redmatrix are kind of a hybrid, but require your permission to give rights to anybody. It doesn’t just happen because you choose to share or follow somebody else. I’m just saying this isn’t consistent. I’m not sure what the right approach should be, except that I think everybody should confirm before an un-solicited “friend” is given any access beyond what is publicly viewable. We probably need some way to make the friending experience and permissions expectations to be consistent across services. On Facebook for instance you can send PM’s to non-friends. In most of the free web you can’t. (In Redmatrix it’s configurable).
Diaspora doesn’t to too badly in all of this. Finding a way to share a private photo to Diaspora (4) has got me buggered. One possibility is if they supported data urls and were able to accommodate large body sizes containing at least thumbnails of these embedded photos (that was how we shared private photos in Friendica before we had zot). 3 and 5 we can document but I hope that 3 will become a reality. GNU-social is almost impossible to work with because of 1 and 2.
5 is just setting a common member-level expectation of what “friendship” entails so that folks don’t get totally confused by the federated web or leak privacy accidentally because another service has a different definition of privacy for one-sided friendships.
I guess this all boils down to “define federated privacy”. Then we can figure out how to implement it.
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