Ryan Calo, a residential fellow at the Center for Internet & Society (CIS), discusses WhatApp, a project initiated by CIS to assess the security and privacy of software applications:
This spring, a project under development to help assess the security and privacy of software applications will go public. WhatApp, an online resource where experts and the public alike can rate applications based on how well-behaved they are, will help consumers to exercise their privacy rights, said its project manager.
The WhatApp service is being proposed as a Consumer Reports-style resource for software. Developed by the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford, it will cover downloadable desktop software, in addition to software for mobile phones, and online applications for social services such as Facebook and Friendster.
"It focuses specifically on privacy, security, and openness," said Ryan Calo, project manager for the service. "Experts will be able to rate and review applications, so that individuals can get greater information about things before they download them, and make comparisons."
"In addition to this, there are developer's notes, which is where the developer gets to brag about anything good that they've done with the application related to security and privacy," Calo added.
"We're trying to tackle that mid market between combating outright malware, and the market for ordinary likeability and useability of products. We think there's a market in between for privacy and security," concluded Calo.