A cloud name is to a person or business what a domain name is to a website
On the Respect Network, every personal and business cloud has its own unique address, called a cloud name. This address points to a second permanent address, called a cloud number. This means you can change your cloud name—or have multiple cloud names—and they will always point to the same permanent cloud number.
A personal cloud names starts with an = symbol and a business cloud name starts with a + symbol. Examples:
|Cloud names represent a new namespace for private digital identifiers, whether they are real names, nicknames, or pseudonyms. As the network grows, cloud names will enable you to use a wide variety of apps and services based on Privacy by Design to give you greater control of your personal data and communications. For an individual, your personal cloud name is always yours—it isn’t tied to your ISP, your CSP or your employer. It’s your permanent, private digital identifier.|
By design, a Respect Network member will be able to register as many cloud names as desired. Multiple names can be associated with a single personal or business cloud, or each cloud name could designate a separate personal cloud. Members with multiple cloud names or clouds will designate one as their “primary” cloud. Every personal and business cloud on the Respect Network also has a unique cloud number. Technically a cloud number is a persistent XDI address, meaning that it is assigned once and never reassigned. A persistent XDI address can take many forms. To support the global peer-to-peer Privacy by Design architecture of the Respect Network, all cloud numbers are UUIDs generated directly by members or their CSP.
Registration of cloud names and numbers (technically, XDI addresses) is similar to domain name registration. The cloud name/number registry used by Respect Network is governed by XDI.org, a global non-profit, and operated by Neustar, one of the largest and most respected registry companies in the world. Neustar runs the US, Brazilian and Taiwanese telephone number portability systems (that enable you to move your phone number when you change carriers) as well as 25% of the world’s DNS service. Their experience with this infrastructure made them a natural to become one of the first Founding Partners of the Respect Network.