We need to decentralise personal data stores. And we need to do it now

Another month, another huge cyber attack taking out huge numbers of businesses and organisations across the world.

The spread of this new ransomware attack is slower than last month’s Wannacry one, which paralysed large sections of the UK’s National Health Service.

But it is still causing problems for major companies, including many in the Ukraine which has been hit particularly hard this time around.

The data is being held to ransom, reportedly for the reasonably small amount of $300, but it’s unclear at the time of writing what the overall motive is.

But what is clear – glaringly so – is that these kinds of attacks will keep wiping out sections of society and large servers while huge troves of very valuable data are held centrally.

In the same way that banks are attractive to thieves for the wealth of month they contain under one roof, servers rammed with personal data are like honeypots for criminals looking to get hold of information they can use and abuse.

The obvious answer is to decentralise that data: no mass of information in one place would surely equal a vastly reduced hacking risk. Not to mention a reduction in the costs of storing and (at least attempting to) secure it in the first place.

And of course the individual would be the main beneficiary – owning, controlling and securing their own data through platforms like digi.me, under the Internet of Me vision.

It’s coming, it makes sense – and soon the rest of the world will catch up with those of us who already believe.

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