Friday, August 12, 2005

ViewRank FAQ

What about privacy?

Your computer has so many programs installed on it. Your sole solution for privacy is installing applications like Antivirus programs, firewalls etc. You trust that these programs themselves are not hostile to you. If the antivirus provider himself steals your info there could be very little you could do. But the logic is that stealing your info would hurt the business of an OS company or Antivirus Company or whatever. So they would not steal your info. After it is just a matter of writing clean code. As far as your privacy concerns you should be no more scared than installing an OS without seeing the source code or installing an Antivirus or Desktop search without looking at the source code.

In fact you can be more confident about your privacy than letting your email reside on a remote server where you are forced to trust what they tell you about what they do with your mail. A Desktop application is very different. If it is sending out your private info, security companies get a chance to shred the applications to bits and examine malicious behavior. So the probability of mischief is much lesser near zero. If it is Open Source it is even better.

What about all the love letters, porn, the hacking sites, all the info I never want captured anywhere?
You can instruct the ViewRank Service to pretend as if some programs were never launched. For Eg. You could have two or more browsers on your system. Use one for all useful work you do for Firefox. Use another browser say IE for all activities you are uncomfortable being recorded. The recording will never capture info/snapshots about the particular application.

Of course in case it does capture any info that u think can cause problems you can always delete it using an interface.

What about efficiency?
The computer can use the wasted CPU cycles to do the processing just like all the Peer to Peer Programs, SETI@Home etc. The user will notice little or no performance degradation as no processing will be done when
the processor is busy.

An Open source application could be written based on these ideas that integrate with dash board. Some company could possibly come up with a product that does all this.

Do you feel there are any gaps in the solution that I suggest here? Would u use it? Can you tell any demerits that you see here? Do you have suggestions for improvements?