The Linux Foundation leads a coalition of companies to inject trust into the future

The Linux Foundation is forming a coalition of companies, including Dell Technologies (DELL.NYSE) and the Iota Foundation, to form Project Alvarium, a project designed to inject trust into data applications.

Project Alvarium involves the creation of a data confidence fabric (DCF), a program leveraging multiple different technologies to establish information fidelity, trustworthiness and reliability in data coming from multiple sources. This useful for companies looking to digitize their day to day activities, but also wish to maintain a modicum of security and privacy.

The system would score data based on its trustworthiness and reliability. Scored data trustworthiness could help organizations with compliance requirements like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation

“Data is the seed from which information, knowledge and wisdom sprouts and blossoms. Every connected device, app, machine, and human will utilize meaningful data in one way or another for decision making. As such, confidence in data is paramount. The development of Data Confidence Fabrics through collaboration in Project Alvarium will power a new era of trust and transparency in data, which is at the core of what IOTA is designed for,” said David Sønstebø, co-founder of IOTA Foundation.

This has considerable implications for the creation of widespread technological innovations like smart cities. Smart cities require considerable internet of things related infrastructure and apps to receive the information—if we can somehow trust that accuracy, security and privacy are all properly respected—then the concept will not only be considerably more efficient, but get over a lot of the regulatory and social hurdles involved with such widespread monitoring.

Right now, there’s a bit of an unsaid problem surrounding data fidelity and sourcing going on right now in IT circles. The problems are there primarily because inputs lack a site-map, showing where each new piece of information was either added or subtracted. Project Alvarium would change that by adding this new framework, which is comprised of a variety of technologies that help insert trust into the data path.

Project Alvarium’s base promise is the creation of a collaborative community facilitated by a baseline open source framework and related APIs that combine the various ingredients that constitute trust fabrics, while defining the algorithms that drive confidence scores as data flows. For example, it will leverage the immutability function inherent in blockchain technology to recognize the inputs (and outflows) of information, while keeping complex algorithmic data courtesy of AI techniques and machine learning.

Here’s a real world example of what something like Project Alvarium could be built to handle:

Plenty of companies are getting involved with the blockchain side of smart city construction. As an example, we have Graph Blockchain (GBLC.C), which announced a few months back that they were signing contracts with the city of Seoul, South Korea, to help run their trains on time. But without information fidelity and sorting, there’s no guarantee that the blockchain alone is going to accomplish what the city of Seoul wants it to do. That’s where the rest of the fabric would come in.

The IoT censors catch you standing on the sidelines waiting for the 3:05 train. The AI techniques and algorithmic data recognizes that your positioning for optimal train entry informs you via an app that you should take a few steps to your right, and the live-data gleaned from censors further down the track inform you if your ETA changes due to circumstances. You can get an accurate, adequate and private readout, from a series of technologies along the track, sent to an app in your phone, giving you a clean, predictable ride home after work. Reliable, safe, and private functionality.

—Joseph Morton

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