Monday, January 12, 2009

Justified Party?

Vittorio points out a new  Microsoft 2D bar code technology

A line from the FAQ is interestingly vague

 

Requires an internet connection? Data charges? Is it conceivable that a Microsoft server somewhere plays a role in interpreting the codes?

Suspicion confirmed by another review
Unlike other tag technologies too, the Microsoft Tags don’t actually store the information. You see, all it stores is a unique ID which it then sends to Microsoft’s servers. This way, you can include much more information, and more variety of information, then if it was just on the tag itself. A nice side-effect of this is also the ability for publishers to gather reporting data on how many times it was seen.
So Microsoft sits in the middle between 'those that create tags' and 'those that read tags' with privileged access to which tags that users access (it's not clear whether they authenticate the users' access), and so consequently indirect insight into the user's visits (isn't there a name for this?) to non-Microsoft sites.

To be fair, the FAQ does have a token privacy section

Token. The fact that the tag is actually resolved off the phone is left to the user to determine. 

I wonder if the tag interpretation API uses WS-Trust.

4 comments:

vibro said...

Hi Paul,
long time no see :-) good to hear from you!
First of all: I have no contacts with the Tag team, all the info I have on this are the ones publicly available hence this is (as always) just my PERSONAL opinion.
Microsoft Tag offers a SERVICE, giving you the chance of accessing a URL or a text by simply pointing a camera phone with suitable software to a tag. As such, it seems a justifiable party to me: forwarding you to a URI is part of the offered service. There are many similar examples: from a service standpoint, it seems that sites like tinyurl work with similar principles.
Also, reporting is an extremely important aspect of the use of this technology for business purposes: hence utilization data reports are again part of the service offered.
In short: i believe this is an example of fully justified party. Again, PLEASE take the disclaimer into account! This is just my personal opinion :-)
cheers
V.

vibro said...

Hi Paul,
long time no see :-) good to hear from you!
First of all: I have no contacts with the Tag team, all the info I have on this are the ones publicly available hence this is (as always) just my PERSONAL opinion.
Microsoft Tag offers a SERVICE, giving you the chance of accessing a URL or a text by simply pointing a camera phone with suitable software to a tag. As such, it seems a justifiable party to me: forwarding you to a URI is part of the offered service. There are many similar examples: from a service standpoint, it seems that sites like tinyurl work with similar principles.
Also, reporting is an extremely important aspect of the use of this technology for business purposes: hence utilization data reports are again part of the service offered.
In short: i believe this is an example of fully justified party. Again, PLEASE take the disclaimer into account! This is just my personal opinion :-)
cheers
V.

Paul Madsen said...

Hi Vittorio, yes welcome to a new year of blog sparring :-)

I fully acknowledge your arguments about the trade-offs associated with network services.

My point (hidden deep down) was that it seems ironic for one Microsoft business unit to tout the privacy and security advantages of client processing whilst another moves (different but still potentially sensitive) processing to a server - removing from clients what they already seem perfectly capable of dealing with (and will surely become more so)

paul

p.s. Dick settling in? Any good turf wars? Kim forced to give up the corner office? You can tell me the truth, nobody reads this blog, much less a comment thread

vibro said...

Beating the same network services horse: I respectfully disagree on the "removing from clients what they already seem perfectly capable of dealing with". I don't think it's a matter of data density per se, but rather the classic "by value" vs "by reference" debacle. Imagine tagging items so that they point to their own wikipedia description. At the moment of tagging a certain entry my be just 2 lines long, and one week later it could be 12 pages. If you use the URI you can GET the newest representation of the *resource* which is intrinsically living on/being generated by a server. If you saved the 2 lines only you froze on the *representation* that was available at tagging time. What's more RESTful? ;-)
Of course I am sure you can counter with cases that benefit from having the values codified directly in the tag, typically all the disconnected scenarios, and you'd be right too: I guess it boils down to the kind of business cases they envisioned for this. Ah, did I mention that all I am saying here is absolutely, totally and nothing more than my personal opinion? :-)

Re: Dick. I am sorry to disappoint the hordes of readers of your blog, which I know brings joy to many many people (including me), but I have nothing to report at this time :-)