Purewire Trust Links with Facebook Connect to Verify Your Reputation

Online social networks lend themselves to anonymity, but sometimes you just need to know if a person is really who they say they are. Purewire Trust offers a service that verifies the reputation of online users, breaking search tabs down into people, things and places. The purpose of Purewire Trust is to make the web a safer place for communication, and its recent support of Facebook Connect is the latest step Purewire Trust has taken down that path. Below is an interview with Purewire Trust CTO, Paul Judge, PhD.

Kristen Nicole: How does Purewire Trust work?

Paul Judge, PhD: PurewireTrust.org is a free Web portal where users can go to verify reputation information about themselves and those with whom they interact online. With a single click, users can get a snapshot view of the complete Web security threat landscape to help establish trust, safety and transparency between users in online communication, collaboration and commerce. PurewireTrust.org analyzes patterns and builds reputations for online identities.

You can check it out here: www.purewiretrust.org. Any Web user can do a search on a person (via e-mail address), place (via URL) or think (via application). For example, I typed in your e-mail address just now and the search came back with an unverified reputation. This is probably because a) no one has searched for you before and b) you don’t have a registered profile with Purewire Trust. If you search for my e-mail address you’ll see that I come back as ‘trusted’. The search shows you the online communities I belong to and based on my information, communities, etc the system determines that I am ‘trustworthy.’

Kristen Nicole: How will PurewireTrust’s support of Facebook Connect work?

Paul Judge, PhD: Through Facebook Connect, PurewireTrust.org users’ activity on Facebook, including profile information, relationships, group membership, etc., can be used to validate the users’ identity to improve their Purewire Trust security reputation. With Facebook Connect, by signing on to Facebook, a user’s activity on Facebook will be evaluated by PurewireTrust.org and users interactions with PurewireTrust.org will be displayed in news feeds.

Kristen Nicole: Why link Purewire Trust with Facebook Connect?

Paul Judge, PhD: Facebook Connect integration with Purewire Trust allows users to verify their identity and contribute their information from Facebook to their Purewire Trust reputation to help prove their trustworthiness. Since Facebook has such a large user base, its likely that many Purewire Trust users also have profiles on Facebook. This link allows Purewire Trust to more easily evaluate the users’ information from Facebook to provide a more thorough security reputation rank.

Kristen Nicole: Will the support for Facebook Connect increase trust factors for both Facebook users and non-users?

Paul Judge, PhD: The Facebook Connect integration will increase trust factors for Facebook users. This is about helping legitimate users claim their identity and take charge of their reputation on the web. The goal is to be able to get credit for your good reputation in a portable fashion. In the real world, good people often hear ‘your reputation precedes you.’ Our goal is to enable that on the web as well.

Additionally, there is a user feedback feature of Purewire Trust. So registered Purewire Trust users can leave user feedback, including a rating, for non-users after they search for them.

Kristen Nicole: Ideally, how would you like to integrate with a social network platform, such as Facebook’s, in order to verify reputations?

Paul Judge, PhD: Facebook Connect and OpenSocial the ideal way to integrate with a social network platform and allow users data portability to other sites and applications. These APIs however do not alone verify reputation. They can verify identity but there is a need for additional algorithms to calculate a reputation. Similarly in the physical world a drivers license can verify someone’s identity but a credit monitoring bureau is used to calculate a financial reputation. This reputation can then be used to make decisions about the level of interaction that is comfortable. Purewire Trust aims to provide this similar reputation functionality online.