News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Controlling Access to Shared Content in an Online Content Management System", for Approval

August 19, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Allain, Francois Alexander (San Francisco, CA); Subramani, Anand (San Francisco, CA), filed on January 27, 2014, was made available online on August 7, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Dropbox, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Online content management systems allow a user to upload content to such a system and access the uploaded content from any device. One advantage of such a system is that once the content is uploaded, the content is stored in a cloud server and thus is not subject to being lost in the event of failure of any individual device memory or storage mechanism. Another advantage of such a system is that a user can quickly and easily share large files with multiple other users. For example, a user can upload a large content item such as a high-resolution video to the content management system. Once the video is uploaded the user can give a second user read-write access to the content item by granting the second user shared folder access. Similarly, the user can give read-only access to the content item by sending a third user a network address associated with the content item. In this case, the third user does not even need to be a member of the content management system to access the content item.

"Groups such as businesses, universities, and schools can utilize an account for a content management system to allow members of the group to upload, share, and collaborate on uploaded content items. However, in such systems there exists the possibility that a member of the group might inadvertently or otherwise share sensitive confidential data with external unauthorized users. Thus a need exists for enabling an administrator of a group account to limit sharing of content outside of the group and to provide more control for how group members share content."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Disclosed are systems, methods, and non-transitory computer-readable storage media for controlling access to shared content in an online content management system. An example method includes receiving a request to access a content item from a requestor, wherein the content item is stored in a synchronized online content management system. The example method then includes determining that the requestor is in an approved list of requestors and granting access to the content item. In one variation of the example method, the request to access the content item includes activation of a shared link. In another variation of the example method, the request to access the content item includes access to a shared folder in the synchronized online content management system.

"In a third variation of the example method, determining that the requestor is in an approved list of requestors includes determining that the requestor is logged into a primary and secondary account, and that the requestor is in an approved list for the secondary account. In a fourth variation of the example method, the method includes prompting the user to login to the secondary account.

"A second example method allows an administrator of a group account to control types of shared links that each user in the group can create. The second example method includes, receiving a request from a requestor to perform a predefined action, wherein the predefined action is sharing a link to a folder or sharing access to a folder in a synchronized online content management system. The second example method includes determining that the requestor is in a predefined group and determining a setting for the predefined group, wherein the setting is always public, always private, or allowing the requestor to specify public or private. The second example method then includes performing the predefined action according to the setting.

"In a first variation, the second example method can include receiving a list of recipients to perform the predefined action with and displaying users to which the first action can be performed in a first configuration and displaying users to which the first action cannot be performed in a second configuration.

"Additional features and advantages of the disclosure will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or can be learned by practice of the herein disclosed principles. The features and advantages of the disclosure can be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. These and other features of the disclosure will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or can be learned by the practice of the principles set forth herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The above-recited and other advantages and features of the disclosure will become apparent by reference to specific embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only exemplary embodiments of the disclosure and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the principles herein are described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

"FIG. 1 shows an exemplary configuration of devices and a network in accordance with one aspect of the invention;

"FIG. 2 shows an example graphical user interface to allow an administrator of a group account on a content management system to manage sharing permissions for members of the group;

"FIG. 3 shows an example database for storing and looking up user ID and team IDs;

"FIG. 4 shows an example database for storing and looking up stored group policies for various sharing functions in the content management system;

"FIG. 5 shows an example method for permitting access to a shared link;

"FIG. 6 shows an example method for allowing an administrator of a group account to control types of shared links that each user in the group can create;

"FIG. 7_A shows a conventional system bus computing system architecture which can be used to implement the invention; and

"FIG. 7_B shows a computer system having a chipset architecture which can be used to implement the invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Allain, Francois Alexander; Subramani, Anand. Controlling Access to Shared Content in an Online Content Management System. Filed January 27, 2014 and posted August 7, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=122&p=3&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140731.PD.&OS=PD/20140731&RS=PD/20140731

Keywords for this news article include: Dropbox Inc., Information Technology, Information and Data Aggregation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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