Consent has always been in our lives – but it’s time to bring it up to date

It seems just like yesterday any one of our three daughters would be running and skipping down the driveway just off the school bus, joyfully waving a piece of paper in the air with a smile on their faces.

No, it wasn’t a gleaming report card to be proud of, or a well done from the teacher. It was, in fact, the good old consent form, which needed to be promptly filled out, signed and returned as soon as possible.

You see the class was going on yet another adventure outside of the four walls of their classroom – it was a school trip, and everybody was excited. Our children’s horizons where about to be broadened in some way, shape or form, by being part of something larger than themselves.

But this field trip to some new and possibly exotic place couldn’t or wouldn’t happen unless a parent or guardian signed the magical release form for them to take part in the trip.  It was, in the simplest terms, providing consent to take possession of a highly valuable entity, our children, and safeguard them from harm.

It was somewhat about us, the parents, but more about our children. Where they were going, what might be expected of them, how long they’d be gone from our stewardship and in control of some other guardian. Lots of details like would they be fed or would they be required to bring something to eat with them.

And then, of course, there was the mention of a kind of value exchange. Yup, you guessed it, money to buy something at the gift shop or elsewhere as a memory of their trip.

Recently, consent and its managing have taken on a whole new meaning pressing on to change the way we view a lot in the world we live in today.

This time it is not about our children, but another precious entity – our data. Personal data to be exact – what others can do with and use from our enormous and ever-growing digital footprints as we live more and more of our lives online.

Until the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May across the European Union, and more recently in California in the US, consent in the digital arena was a second thought at best.

We create data with everything we do online and everywhere else on all types of devices, but don’t generally own or have control of it – which means there has been a free-for-all to use and abuse it, mostly in an attempt to sell us things.

The new rules return power over this personal information to individuals means consent is now required to use it. Just as it is in the real world.

Companies are, still, scrambling to come into and be in compliance with these new rules and regulations.  But increasingly, the opportunity they offer is also being noticed.

Digi.me has always had returning the power of their data to consumers at the heart of our vision; there is so much more an individual can accomplish once their personal information is at the center of their online life and they in control of all their information.

We’re at the heart of the Personal Data Revolution – giving the power of data back to people, with the value of when it is secure making it private, and shareable based on consent.

Beyond just greater personal insight, for one, having all your financial or health information together along with other digital exhaust we create and leave everywhere today. But the ability to share slices of information, either in a value exchange or for companies to use for research or innovation, gives the true essence and meaning of how personal data is in itself an asset class

Consented use, through digi.me’s Consent Access platform, offers the promise of being part of new products and services enriching all our lives. Just like school trips continue to do for our children.

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