MUNICH, GERMANY, European Identity Conference (May 10, 2010) — At the opening of the European Identity Conference in Munich today, Connect.Me™ announced publication of the Respect Trust Framework™ with Open Identity Exchange™. This is the first personal trust framework designed to give individuals control over the sharing of their personal data on the Internet, mobile phone networks, social networks, and other online forums.

The Respect Trust Framework will be the foundation for Connect.Me, a social discovery network that works across popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Connect.Me enables people to build their own personal trust networks by vouching for the people they respect most in the contexts they care about most. The process kicks off today on Twitter – any Twitter user can begin voting immediately for other individuals they respect following the instructions at Connect.Me.

A digital trust framework is a set of legal and technical rules by which members of a network agree to operate in order to achieve trust online. They are one of the key tools advocated by the recent U.S. National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) for creating a safe online “identity ecosystem”. “NSTIC challenged private industry around the world to innovate new ways to increase privacy and safety online,” said Drummond Reed, co-founder and Chairman of Connect.Me. “This is one answer: a trust framework for personal data whose trust fabric is rooted in real people around the world.”

Connect.Me is delivering the Respect Trust Framework in conjunction with two key partners: the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) and the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium (PDEC). OIX was chartered in March 2010 to become the neutral international non-profit clearinghouse for digital trust frameworks. “Connect.Me chose to list the Respect Trust Framework with OIX because it specializes in open trust frameworks based on open standards,” said Mr. Reed. “We wanted to assert a person-centric trust and business model that is an equal partner with those of the industry leaders that formed OIX”. OIX Executive Members include AT&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, CA Technology, Equifax, Google, LexisNexis, PayPal, Symantec, Transaction Network Services (TNS), and Verizon.

OIX offers the legal and policy tools that developers of digital trust frameworks need to effectively tackle hard online trust problems,” said Don Thibeau, OIX Board Chair. “We are pleased Connect.Me selected OIX to list the Respect Trust Framework and to host the Respect Trust Framework Working Group, which will work closely alongside our Legal Analysis Working Group.

The Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium (PDEC) was founded to be the “voice of the individual” in developing infrastructure and policies to help people protect and realize the value of their personal data online.

The Respect Trust Framework means we are evolving the persona data ecosystem to help users have more trust in their social connections. And of course, Connect.Me will give us the ability to use that trust framework in a simple, convenient way,” said, Mary Hodder, Chair of PDEC. Adds Kaliya Hamlin, Executive Director of PDEC, “We are very excited to have one of the first products and trust frameworks launch in the personal data space.

Another member of the PDEC Startup Circle, Mydex Community Interest Corporation based in London, announced its intention to utilize the Respect Trust Framework in the launch of its live personal data service envisaged for Autumn 2011. William Heath, Chairman of Mydex said, “The thinking that has gone into the Respect Trust Framework is wholly consistent with Mydex’ aims as a Community Interest Company. The viral approach takes is a powerful complement to Mydex’ work to deliver real convenience and utility to the individual.”

Connect.Me welcomes collaboration with Mydex and the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium to promote adoption of the Respect Trust Framework,” said said Joe Johnston, co-founder and CEO of Connect.Me. “We believe a personal trust framework will be as essential to the success of the personal data ecosystem as financial trust frameworks have been to the success of the global credit card systems.

According to Scott David of K&L Gates, principal legal architect of the Respect Trust Framework, digital trust frameworks may be designed to work only in one country or industry, or to work across all jurisdictions. The Respect Trust Framework is the latter — it based on a set of universal principles of respect for personal data, and thus can be adapted to the privacy and data protection regulations of many different countries and industries. To that end, it includes an Exhibit that cross-references the five core principles of the Respect Trust Framework to 18 instances of Fair Information Practices Principles (FIPPs) from around the world including Canada, Sweden, the EU, the United States, and Asia.

Connect.Me has published a white paper explaining the Respect Trust Framework and how it enables a personal data ecosystem. Entitled The Personal Network: A New Trust Model and Business Model for Personal Data, it is available on the Connect.Me website at

The Respect Trust Framework will undergo a 30 day public review period before formal opening of the Connect.Me network. Public comment is welcomed at the Respect Trust Framework Discussion Forum hosted by PDEC at Twitter users can begin nominating other Twitter users beginning immediately by following the instructions at

About Connect.Me:

Connect.Me is a San Francisco-based startup launching the first social discovery network that works across all popular social networks, starting with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Connect.Me enables people to build their own personal trust networks by vouching for the people they respect most in the contexts they care about most. The Connect.Me network is based on the Respect Trust Framework, the first personal trust framework that gives individuals control over the personal data they share over the Internet, mobile, or social networks. For more information, visit or follow Connect.Me on Twitter at @respectconnect.