I’ve written about personal clouds and personal data stores (PDS – also called personal data vaults or lockers) for several years now, but in a conversation with Craig Burton last week the distinction between the two snapped into sharp focus. See this illustration:
In short, if a personal cloud is a virtual personal computer in the cloud, then a PDS is its virtual file system. Note that this does NOT mean the PDS stores all its data in the cloud. In fact, one of the most salient features of a full-featured PDS is that it will provide controlled access and sharing of data stored in native data stores anywhere on the wired or wireless Web. These native data stores become a virtual part of the personal cloud by virtue of a secure semantic data sharing protocol like XDI.
So, while every personal cloud has a PDS, what makes it a personal cloud is “the rest of the story” — the…
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