Experts Comment

Here are examples of comments by experts about the Information Trust Exchange Governing Association.

RELATED LINK: Our advisors and participants 

  • “Friends often ask me when someone will put together a “Netflix for news”, with one password that works on many sites but respects privacy. ITEGA is my favorte of the proposals so far — good overview here.” — Ethan Zuckerman, director, MIT Center for Civic Media, on Twitter.  
  • “It looks like you’re getting excellent advice . . . I look forward to what you are cooking up, thank you for doing it, the world needs it.”  — Brian Behlendorf, Apache Foundation founder; executive director of the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project
  • “Managing identity and privacy for the public is an important unmet challenge. There is no institution better positioned than local news organizations to provide this service to the public in the context of a trusted third party like ITEGA. I hope it happens.” — Douglas K. Smith, executive director of Columbia Journalism School’s Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program.
  • “”You can see some glimmers of the enabling technologies in decentralization and blockchain . . . I think what you are doing is extraordinarily important . . . . ” — Wes Boyd, co-founder,, Berkeley Software.
  • There has got to be an ecosystem . . . What is needed now is not single organizations trying to act but it needs to be a cohesive group of a number of players both digital and traditional, pulling together on the issues of trust, identity and being able to syndicate and share content for payment on behalf of everybody. Right now nobody is doing that and it needs to be  created because that is the only way it is going to work.  – Robert Picard, Reuters Institute, University of Oxford
  • ” . . . [T]here are simply too many pixels firing on a page every time that page is loaded and the lion’s share of those pixels have to do in some way with tracking the user.  The desired solution to that problem is an identity that has governance on the back end.” — David M. Kohl, president/CEO, TrustX  (quality-publisher non-profit ad exhange)
  • “I’ve very interested in this subject, and supportive of your work . . . I’m fully convinced this is part of the longterm solution . . . [b]ut you would need a really enlightened executive who could do some far reaching planning, not thinking about the quarterly earnings call. ” Nicco Mele, director, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.
  • “This looks amazing . . . I’m glad you are all doing this.”
    Clay Shirky, NYU vice provost, education technology, author (2015 email)
  • “To the overall question of whether a federated user-configurable identity system is needed, the answer is unquestionably yes. Nearly every social network aspires to be a publishing platform to some degree, and all could benefit from fine-grained personalization. It would be even better if that personalization could be federated across multiple properties so that the experience could be customized nearly everywhere. If ITE is to become a reality, though, it will probably be driven by new-age media companies that have energy and vision, not old-line publishers who are, as your report notes, addicted to a mass-market model. ” Paul Gillen, B2B social media strategies, former editor, ComputerWorld magazine.
  • “I suspect the real value of this network will be in the embedded (and required) collaboration it will necessarily foster. Organizations will be able to more easily move their paywalled content to new audiences, which could gain them potential ad and single-story revenue, but will more usefully give them a better understanding of audience needs and what they value. That, in turn, could and should help organizations work more closely together to come up with content that serves those audiences better. I’m also hopeful that a network like this will foster the sharing, not just of stories, but of data – not audience data, although that wouldn’t be a bad thing, but story and other data for collaborations.” — Reg Chua, chief operating officer, Reuters News at Thomson Reuters

These additional expert comments were not made specifically to or about ITEGA but about relevant concepts.

    • “The Next Big Thing offers opportunities to rethink the architecture of the Internet. For example, I would like to address privacy with a new model of authentication for website access that permits websites to gather only the minimum amount of data required for each transaction. It would work like a password manager, but with a couple of important distinctions: it would go beyond storing passwords to performing log-ins, and it would store private data on the device, not in the cloud. Apple has embraced this model, offering its customers valuable privacy and security advantages over Android . . .Users should always own all their own data and metadata–and they should be compensated much better for it. No one should be able to use a user’s data in any way without explicit, prior consent.” — Early-stage Facebook investor Roger McNamee (longtime venture capitalist) in a Time Magazine online post, Jan. 17, 2019.


    • “I want to easily support artists and writers without having to set up an account, create a password, fork over my credit card details, and commit to an ­ongoing­ relationship that involves receiving a new piece of spammish email at least once a week . . . When you think about it, the lack of a seamless micropayment system is a central flaw in today’s internet, one that props up all sorts of wrongs. It also precludes a host of possible business models and innovations.” — UNC professor and NYT op-ed contributor Zeynep Tufekci writing Jan. 21, 2019 at Wired Magazine, “Should We All Have Seamless Micropayments by Now?”


    • “I think subscriptions have their place in the publishing business. But the way paywalls are implemented today stinks. Some content should never ever be put behind one. And paywalls should federate, like the early ATMs did, so that joining one means joining them all.” — Fred Wilson, partner in Union Square Ventures, writing Feb. 10, 2019 on his blog. 



    • “If we could make it just as easy for people to pay for news as they do at Starbucks each day, our problem would be solved. We are going to get to frictionless, easy ways of paying and I think that’s going to be key.” — Kate Butler, VP, engagement, The Associated Press, at a Reynolds Journalism Institute panel, Oct. 12, 2017.


    • “We don’t have the smaller nonprofit newsrooms working well enough with each other where they do haev common interests. Our next hurdle in all this is more sharing.  And there are big busienss opportunities in that.” — Brant Houston, at a Reynolds Journalism Institute panel, Oct. 12, 2017.


    • “But 20 years in to the ad-supported web, we can see that our current model is bad, broken, and corrosive. It’s time to start paying for privacy, to support services we love, and to abandon those
      that are free, but sell us—the users and our attention—as the product.” — Ethan Zuckerman, director, MIT Center for Civic Media, “The Internet’s Original Sin,” Atlantic Media, 2014.


    • “In paying for The New York Times, I can more or less guarantee that I’m not going to pay for The Boston Globe and I’m definitely not going to pay for The Berkshire Eagle. So the question is can these guys aggregate me? Would I be willing to pay a buck more if I was getting The Times and The Globe? Quite possibly. Would I be willing to go from $10 to $15 a month if I got a pass that would get me most major newspapers and magazines? Yea, I think so if you get the pricing right. So many brands have to understand they are not The New York Times. The New York Times is just able to do this. But if you are the Minneapolis paper, recognizing that — there is a small hard core that’s going to subscribe — but that for another group if you can turn this into your one information subscription, it looks like a much more powerful and potent business model.” — Ethan Zuckerman, quoted in “From Persona to Payment,” (Reynolds Journalism Institute, 2015)


    • “But keep in mind where the real value is: in the relationship, in knowing what people — individuals and communities, not a faceless, anonymous mass — need and want and know so you can give them relevance and value and so they will give you greater usage, engagement, attention, loyalty, and advertising value in return .  . . I would propose that both the containers for embeddable content and the means of consensual transfer of data about users and interests should be open standards so users can get these benefits of relevance and sharing wherever they want . . . Indeed, what I’d really like to see is a scheme — an open-source data scheme, that is — that would allow users to control their own interest data, how it is shared, and with whom . . .  Now is the time to join together to become stronger negotiating as a group than alone. Now is the time to play Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snapchat, et al off each other and get the best deal possible. Now is the time to get access to the data that will build more than today’s cash flow but will instead build tomorrow’s strategy.” Jeff Jarvis, CUNY-Journalism, at his blog, BuzzFeed, in March, 2015.


    • “Silicon Valley needs friends in our industry. Second, it is in the interests of both platforms and publishers to create means and standards for the transfer of first-party data about users in ways that serve and protect users’ interests and privacy — before regulators do.”  — Jeff Jarvis, CUNY-Journlism, writing on Medium, May 23, 2016.


    • “Personal control over our digital data is becoming a more widespread concern. The attitude, ‘I don’t care what they do with my info’ sitll dominates, but more and more people are aware of and concerned about the ways in which governments and corporations collect and use their personal data . . . Personal and/or community ownership of our data is an equity issue. many people know this. Civil-society organizaions need to catch up.” — Lucy Bernholz, Stanford University Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, “Philanthropy and Digital Society: Blueprint 2018 — The Annual Industry Forecast,” at Page 8.


    • A ONE PASS FOR EVERYTHING? | “I have a personal theory about traditional media, like newspaper and magazine sites, which is that they are crazy to go it alone and try to build their own little army. They should be more focused on getting readers to subscribe to a one-pass for everything that’s worth reading before Facebook essentially does this for them.”  — Columbia University’s Tim Wu, in an Oct., 2016 Atlantic interview about his book, ‘The Attention Merchants.”


    • COLLECTIVE ACTION AGAINST DOMINANT HUBS? |  See “Managing our Hub Economy,” by Marco Iansiti and Karim R. Lakhani, (Harvard Business Review, Sept. 2017) to learn how the rise of tech platforms
      is skewing value capture away from traditional firms; authors suggest multiple hubs in each sector, advising that “[c]ollective action can also restructure economic networks” and “other stakeholders need to work
      together to ensure hubs look after interests of all network members.” They add: “[I]ndeed, strategic joint action by companies that are not hubs may be the best competitive antidote to the rising power of hub firms.”