Oh Yeah?: Easy Access to Provenance on the Web

In the research community, provenance has always been viewed as an essential component of establishing trust for information resources. It includes all information about entities, activities, and people involved in producing a piece of data or thing. Recently, W3C PROV, the standard for provenance by the W3C Provenance Working Group, has been published as a Recommendation. This means that now, users and applications can produce and consume provenance in a standard model and an array of standardized serializations. In this research, we present our ideas to enable making basic trust assessments of information on the Web, based on the availability of its provenance. Our main goal is to present the provenance of information on the Web in such a way that a non-expert user can easily understand it, and make a decision whether or not to trust the information.

As a use case of this research, we present the "Oh, yeah?"-button. In 1997, Tim Berners-Lee proposed that each browser should have a button marked "Oh, yeah?", that a user can press when he/she loses the feeling of trust when viewing a document. Upon pressing the button, information is shown about why the user should (dis)trust the document. We created a browser extension that constitutes a first implementation of this "Oh, yeah?"~button. When the button is clicked, the browser acquires the provenance resources linked to by the document the user was looking at and displays the URIs, whether the provenance is valid and whether the URI actually exists, in addition to a number of automatically derived statements regarding the trustworthiness of the document. The extension is available for download at the Google Chrome Web Store.

For more information, we refer to the latest publication about this project:
Easy Access to Provenance: an Essential Step Towards Trust on the Web,
presented at METHOD 2013: The 2nd IEEE International Workshop on Methods for Establishing Trust with Open Data Held in conjunction with COMPSAC, the IEEE Signature Conference on Computers, Software & Applications - July 22-26, 2013 - Kyoto, Japan (to be published at IEEE Xplore)