What is the future of personal data? How will it affect me personally and how will it affect my work and day to day life? These are all big questions when it comes to our personal data and these questions become even more prominent when we start to look at who currently has access to data about us.
Currently our banks, telecoms companies, social networks, fitness band companies, search engine providers and shopping sites all have information about us. Whilst this data is somewhat dispersed across the internet it is also duplicated. In some ways because it is not all in one place it seems safer. However over time that data becomes out of date and unreliable. We move house and have to inform everyone of our new address for example and it takes forever to get round to changing everything over.
These big companies aren’t allowed to share the core data about us between themselves without our permission but in some cases they have that permission without us even realizing it as we sign up to the small print or miss an opt out tick box. Before we know it we have unrelated companies spamming us or cold calling.
Now imagine if we could easily revoke that permission to access the information about ourselves from those companies without having to write letters or chase, just at the click of a button. Wouldn’t that be easier… and wouldn’t it be easier if we could give permission through simple but understandable terms and if we didn’t agree they couldn’t use our data.
Going one step further, if we owned our health data we could carry our health records ourselves when we travel and when we go to hospital with an illness or injury. Lost medical records become a thing of the past. Clearly we would want to backup and securely store this information but once we can do that we can do so much more with it.
In order to make this sort of future a reality there are a few things that have to happen first. Companies need to understand better how data is owned and by whom, they also need to realize that it is no longer acceptable to lose data or sell it on without our knowledge.
Individuals need to realize that their data has a value, it belongs to them and is in fact part of their personal identity and not just something to be traded to the highest bidder for ad placements. We need to stop giving away parts of ourselves without understanding how we can take control back of that data at any point in the future.
The “Internet of Things” is already a reality but the “Internet of Me” is just beginning. We all need to start taking a look at who we are, what data is of value to us and how that data could be used in ways that benefit us more as individuals.
Digi.me helps you to take that first step where you control of your personal web data. We have started you off with putting you back in control of your social media updates and we look forward to bringing you even more control of your data. Just remember we don’t see your data you do! It is yours and you own it all!