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22nd ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE 2014), November 16–21, 2014, Hong Kong, China

FSE 2014 – Proceedings

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Omlet: A Revolution against Big-Brother Social Networks (Invited Talk)
Monica S. Lam
(Stanford University, USA)
With the wide-spread adoption of proprietary social networks like Facebook and mobile chat platforms like Wechat, we may be heading to a future where all our communication are monetized and our online transactions are mediated by monopolistic big-data companies. This talk describes a new anti-data monetization movement led by Omlet, an open messaging service and distributed computing platform that spun out of 4 years of research at Stanford University. With Omlet, (1) users can own their data and have them hosted on cloud services of their choice and (2) distributed "p2p webapps" enable phones and other internet of things to interact with each other without having its communication be monetized. Introduced in March 2014, Omlet is already seeing traction, as it is being distributed on millions of Android phones, by Asus and other yet-to-be-announced device makers. This paradigm shift to decentralized computation not only safeguards users' data privacy, it fosters open competition and innovation, and provides an efficient and scalable foundation to handle the billions of phones and devices. Software engineering researchers can help make this a reality by making distributed mobile app development on such a platform accessible.
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