The Distributed Information Group
Based at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the Decentralized Information Group is led by Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web. DIG’s members include leaders in technology and public policy, including the White House CTO for Internet Policy Danny Weitzner. DIG’s work is closely coordinated with the activities of the World Wide Web Consortium, the international standards-setting organization for the Web.
At DIG, we explore the consequences of information on the Web: Where it comes from, what happens to it, and what are the rules for using it. Some of the issues we think about are: What do social networks reveal about you and your friends? How can linking across scientific databases promote research? What are the policies that determine how government agencies can share data? How can we promote good impacts of information sharing, while minimizing risks and harmful effects? In our work, we take the perspective that information on the Web should travel together with additional data that says where the information comes from (provenance and context) and how it should be used (policy). We build tools to help people control the policies governing information, and we build automated reasoning systems to help determine whether information use complies with policy.