Authorization by social graph

I’ve been kicking around an idea for a while now, discussed with some friends, but don’t have time to implement this just yet.  I may use this at the core of a project early next year, but I wanted to get the main idea out there now.  Perhaps others are already doing this, but I haven’t seen it anywhere (yet?).

Currently, many apps tie in with twitter/facebook/etc for authentication – a third party openid server indicates to the original app that you are who you say you are.  In some cases, there’s even a degree of sharing of data or allowing of control of a remote app (posting tweets via oauth, updating facebook wall, etc).  What I’ve not seen yet is something which allows for collaboration, with degrees of permissions defined by relations in your personal social graph.

For example, consider google docs.  Rather than inviting and granting permission on specific docs to specific people,  allowing anyone who is following me on Google Buzz or FriendFeed to have read access to my document would be useful.  Take that a step further – anyone who I’m following back – a two-way relationship – would automatically have read *and* write permissions on that document.

This is a somewhat simplified example, but the notion of permissions being automatically granted/revoked based on position and status in my social graph seems relatively unique (if also a probably rather obvious evolution in the coming near term).

Are there examples of this behaviour out there already I’m not seeing?


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