vDesk: Like a “Safe Deposit Box” in the Cloud

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vDesk is a cloud-based service that creates a “digital place” on the Internet for receiving and storing your important and personal information. vDesk is accessed by users (Subscribers) as a personal website where they can receive documents of many different types from a variety of sources. Subscribers can authorize creators of documents (Providers) to send them to their vDesk account. Unlike existing systems for document delivery (e-mail or download), vDesk is truly “user centric” in that it gives its users complete control over what documents they receive, how they are organized and presented, how long they are retained, and to whom copies are provided. Everything managed by vDesk is protected using unique digital encryption technology. Documents are encrypted when produced, remain encrypted during transmission, are always stored in encrypted form, and can only be accessed by the Provider, Subscriber, or others to whom they provide copies. Even the personnel that run vDesk cannot access Subscribers’ documents! All documents delivered are digitally signed when they are produced; this identifies their origin, guarantees their authenticity, prevents them from being altered and allows verifiable copies to be presented to third parties when needed. Finally, vDesk protects documents by storing them redundantly at multiple locations, preventing their loss or inaccessibility due to natural or man-made disasters.

vDesk handles all documents that can be rendered digitally, but is focused on those which today are printed and mailed, and is targeted at preserving important documentation of long term significance such as payroll, pension, brokerage and bank statements, insurance policies, health and educational records, licenses and certifications, official government documents, tax records, credit card, utility and other bills and documentation of purchases for warranty purposes. However, nothing restricts vDesk’s services to these examples.
vDesk’s service is free to Subscribers and allows Providers to afford their customers increased convenience, reliability, security, and control by enabling them to receive, store, access, and manage, the documentation delivered to them from potentially many sources more easily and consistently.

VDesk is attractive to Providers because it reduces expenses by replacing the cost of supplies, printing, and mailing with smaller fees for electronic distribution. These document “postage” fees will be significantly lower than the cost of providing full document life cycle support for such material which usually includes delivery, security and privacy management, offsite backup and disaster recovery, and storage, retention, and retrieval. In fact, vDesk costs are expected to be comparable to or less than postage and handling costs for paper mailings alone!

While many Providers presently implement various individual methods for transmitting and retaining important documentation, the privacy, security, convenience and user control that vDesk offers is expected to encourage many people who are reluctant to use existing electronic delivery systems to accept paperless record keeping. Since vDesk storage of documents is independent of any particular Provider, vDesk permits Subscribers to successfully maintain their documentation history even as they change their relationships to Providers.


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  • Name:
    Jay Unger
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    Jay Unger, Peter Capek, Alex Gray
  • Profession:
    Computer Scientist
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Jay belongs to these online communities:
  • Jay is inspired by:
    Building internet services that provide real privacy, user choice and control, and convenience.
  • Software used for this entry:
    LAMPs Open Source and Libraries
  • Patent status: