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Intro

Cloud computing today typically means that we have to hand over our data to big companies who decide which features they give us (and sometimes force on us), and who can and do unilaterally change their terms of service on us whenever they like.

What if instead, we could each have our own, personal cloud? Where we decide what data to put there and whom to share it with, where we decide which apps to run on it, and where we define the terms of service?

Personal Cloud is a fairly new idea. It has been compared to the wild idea back in the 1970's that everybody could have a Personal Computer, instead of having to accept whatever the mainframe guys gave us. Obviously, Personal Computers turned out to be an idea that has appealed to hundreds of millions of people who today all own PCs. Could it be the same for Personal Clouds?

Personal Cloud right now is barely beyond the Homebrew Computer Club stage, but things are happening.

This brand-new wiki is intended to be the place where the community can collect relevant links and other relevant knowledge. Feel free to constructively contribute.

What is a Personal Cloud?

There are three major components to a Personal Cloud per consensus in a session at IIW in May 2012:

Personal Cloud Comparison: Personal Computer
Data You decide which data to store, which to delete or modify. While your data is accessible over the network, nobody can access or use your data without your permission. You decide which data you share with whom and when to revoke that privilege. You decide which data to store, which to delete or modify. You decide which data you copy, print out, or e-mail to whom.
Apps You decide which apps from which vendors you use with your data. You decide which apps from which vendors to install, use or uninstall. You decide which apps to use with which data.
Terms You define your own terms of service for anybody interacting with the data or the apps on your personal cloud. You can easily move your personal cloud to a competing hosting vendor if you so desire. You decide when to turn your computer on and off. Nobody can use your computer, your data or your apps, unless you let them. You can easily exchange one vendor's hardware with another's if you so desire.

A personal cloud may also have:

Peripherals

The set of personal devices that are "hooked up" via the personal cloud, i.e., registered with and permissioned to use the personal cloud (e.g., laptop, smartphone, smartTV, smartcar, life tracking device, blood pressure monitor etc.).

The set of devices that are "hooked up" to the PC in order to input and output data (e.g., keyboard, mouse, microphone, printer, scanner, etc.)
Network(s) What the personal cloud is connected to in order to communicate with other personal clouds and servers to exchange messages and share data. This is not just the Internet, but will include one or more trusted data interchange networks designed expressly for personal cloud connections. What the PC is connected to in order to communicate with other PCs and servers to exchange messages and share data. For most PCs, this is a local network connected to the Internet.
Services Services accessed over a network. These services are typically closed systems accessed through an API. Personal Clouds connect voluntarily to services. Services accessed over a network. These services were typically of the MainFrame variety. Computers connect voluntarily to services.

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