The Internet is only as smart as the data it carries. Right now, data is mindless, easily exposed and abused. Imagine a new Internet composed of Smart Data that remembers, keeps a secret, learns from its users, and is open for good. COVA contributes to the making of this new Internet.
The existing Internet protocol suite provides end-to-end data communication specifying how data should be packetized, addressed, transmitted, routed, and received. However, it does not specify how data should be used. A successful data usage control would need to regulate what happens to data in the future after access is granted, which makes the problem extremely difficult and remains a last frontier of the Internet protocol suite.
Covalent is a new addition to the Internet protocol suite that specifies and enforces how data should be used. Under the Covalent protocol, data carries a “smart policy”. Whereas a usual data usage policy is expressed in natural language and is only enforceable by law, a “smart policy” is specified in programming language and is enforceable by code.