Monday, February 16, 2015

xAPI Privacy Questions with Aaron Silvers

Aaron Silvers has been a leader in the Experience API (xAPI or 'TinCan') community for years. In fact, if you know about xAPI, it's a pretty good guess that Aaron had a hand in you learning about it.

But even if you don't know about xAPI, you should care. It's one of those big-dot-deals that will let learning practitioners drill to the crux of things: performance.

For the past couple of years, Aaron and others in the xAPI community have guided me along the road to better understanding the potential xAPI has to be a truly transformative technological framework for the Learning and Performance community.

But I have questions.

As we arrive in a world where data increasingly has power and value, I imagine my own experiences being captured and analyzed and exchanged as part of a bigger data set--a sort of currency that describes the path I took to performance, along with minute details of my life. While I have no concerns about employers or others with whom I've entered into agreements using this data, what happens when a third-party analytics company gets ahold of it? Do they have a right to use it? Do others, who legitimately captured this data for reasons I agreed to now have the right to sell it?

My friend, Aaron Silvers, has a perspective on this. I feel quite fortunate that he was willing and able to share it with me:

Aaron can be found at many learning industry events, and online at

You can learn more about xAPI at

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