A Universal Me API
12 Jul 2015
I am pretty demanding today, I just asked for sandbox environments to be default for all APIs, and now I'd like to see a universal /me API. I am profiling AngelList API, as part of my API Stack work, and while AngelList does not have it broke out as its own endpoint on the menu (it is just buried in the oAuth section), I thought it was worth breaking out all by itself.
At AngeList, when I hit the api.angel.co/1/me endpoint, it gives me back everything about me on AngelList. To make it work, I have to pass along a valid oAuth token, which I generated from my AngelList account, which is how the API knows who I am. As I was playing with this API, and breaking out as its own Swagger file, as part of my AngelList API profiling, I can't help but want this feature everywhere.
Wouldn't it be nice to be given oAuth controls for ANY account online, whether it was a tech company like Twitter, or a government agency like the US Census Bureau. Using oAuth, you could generate an App (w/ token), and easily make a call to /me, and find out everything a company knows about you, and I mean EVERYTHING. Using oAuth you could easily open up this access to anyone 3rd party provider you wanted to, for any period of time you desired.
/me, provides a very powerful endpoint to frame discussions about our digital self. As we continue to spread our lifebits across the Internetz, we are going to have to demand more /me endpoints for platforms, as well as oAuth control over the lifebit exhaust we generate--as a basic human right. I'll keep building on my own definition of what /me endpoints should be available, and who knows maybe someday a universal /me API will be a default approach for any online domain.