We were delighted to take part in filming for the latest edition of the BBC’s flagship technology programme Click.
Focusing on the impact of GDPR and what this means for personal data, the episode – which is currently online – explores both how big businesses have routinely abused our data, as well as how the EU is taking a stand against this with the new laws coming in on Friday.
Our founder Julian Ranger, as well as our app, featured in the section looking at how we can – and should – do more with our data, on our own terms (jump to 20.20 if you haven’t got time for the whole thing). The programme presented data as being like slices of a cake – in isolation neither useful nor too valuable, but combine them just right and you’ve baked something worth biting into.
Digi.me, they explained to viewers, is helping us take ownership of our data, collating data from the apps and services we use. Services we use the most have the largest slice of our data – but generally if we’re in control, we may be willing to share more slices.
Explaining digi.me’s vision, Julian said: “Everything we do in the future requires more data.
“You’re the only person in the world that can bring all that data together about you, the only place it can come together.
“So if we want to do more with our data, which we do – we want to have personalised medicine and personalised recommendations, then we need to bring the data together and businesses need to be able to ask us.”
Nigel Houlden, head of technology policy at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s GDPR enforcer, told the programme that encouragement and education are the preferred tools for policing the legislation, and that his office would rather use a carrot than a stick.
Major sanctions (the legislation allows for fines of up to €20 million or 4 per cent of global turnover) are not the way the ICO wants to work and will only be applied for the “most wilful, deliberate and continuous companies that flout the regulations.”
The programme’s conclusion is a familar one to those who have followed the digi.me journey – sharing data can be very powerful, but also easily exploited. GDPR gives us the tools to demand sharing on our own terms, which will bring benefits to all.