Normally, when we share information, we also end up sharing control over the information i.e. If A sends someone a document to B, Bis free to do whatever he/she deems appropriate with it .. view it, print it, edit it or forward it to someone else.
Enterprise Information Rights Management (IRM) technologies like Seclore FileSecure make it possible to separate control from content. This means that content can travel independent of its control which can be centralized or distributed again based on an enterprise’s needs.
So its possibe for the owner of the document (A) to “remote control” usage rights like viewing, editing, printing etc. of the content. Central policy / rights servers allow these policies to be changed not only before but after the content has been shared. This means that it is possible for me to delete a document from your computer sitting on my computer !! Freaky .. is’nt it ?
Situations like this give rise to interesting questions on ethics and privacy .. i.e.
How can you control stuff on my computer … is it not like hacking ?? Is’nt controlsupposed to travel with the content ?? If you can control what I do with your document … what else can you control ??
Our view on these questions are as follows:
1. Is it not like hacking ?? Well yes it is, since B’s computer’s behaviour is decided by something that A does .. and this should be upfront known to B… Disclaimers / Popups and all. Of course B is free to not open the file at all. The reason it is not tantamount to hacking is that the behaviour change is specific to the content that is sent across by A…
2. Isn’t control supposed to travel with the content ?? No it is not ! The reason that every corporate email has a 10 line confidentiality statement is exactly that. IRM systems enable these confidentiality statements to be implemented.
3. If you can control what I do with your document … what else can you control ??Thats completely upto the system being used. In most cases ( including Seclore ) the domain of control is limited to the specific content which has been rights protected.