Dawn Song, a Berkeley computer-science professor and MacArthur fellow, is a fan of cloud computing. She also thinks it needs a major rethink.
“The cloud and the internet have fundamentally changed our lives mostly for good,” she says. “But they have serious problems with privacy and security—users and companies lose control of their data.” Outsourcing data storage and processing over the internet has given companies new flexibility and consumers the power to hail rides, find dates, and socialize from a slab of glass in their pocket.
The same technologies have also enabled data theft, corporate prying on our personal lives, and new forms of election manipulation. Song says her startup, Oasis Labs, can curtail some of those problems with the help of blockchains, the new form of cryptographically secured record-keeping inspired by the digital currency bitcoin.
Oasis announced $45 million in funding this week, from a mixture of big Silicon Valley VC funds and cryptocurrency investors. Song and one of her cofounders have already tested some of their ideas by helping install new privacy safeguards at Uber, the ride-hailing unicorn whose troubled past includes security incidents.
Oasis Labs cofounders, left to right: chief privacy officer Noah Johnson, chief operating officer Bobby Jaros, chief executive Dawn Song, and chief technical officer Raymond Cheng. In 2014, Uber was rocked by allegations that executives and employees spied on customer movements, using tools such as a map dubbed “God View.” Two years later, the company settled with New York state’s attorney general and promised to protect rider location data. Read more from wired.com…
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