Empowering citizens through data portability

The drama surrounding the US elections and the fallout from prominent people being de-platformed has shone a new light on the influence of Big Tech companies, with calls growing in some areas for greater legislation.

The response to Covid-19 has also caused some high-profile debates of how privacy does – and should – fit in with data use and sharing, while the volume of records disclosed in data breaches last year rose 141 per cent to an enormous 37 billion.

But personal data and privacy are not simply big-issue items, they are also the foundation of our everyday digital lives. And, as digitalisation of every aspect of our lives continues at pace, they are playing an ever more important role.

The choice opportunities from the proliferation of online services means many of us have become adept at switching from one service to another, whether that is social media, banking or even a healthcare provider.

Whatever the reason behind this, the ability to retain, and then reuse, our data also becomes increasingly important, for a variety of reasons from the sentimental, right through to the potential saving of life in a medical setting.

This ability to be able to own and control our own data is increasingly being supported by legislation such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the US’s meaningful use for medical records but there is still some distance to go before individuals truly have full ownership and control.

As we work towards this goal, a key privacy and security challenge for businesses is how to give data back securely. Many services today offer a download service, but the formats vary and the privacy and security of this returned data is only as good as where the individual stores it, often on their computer or within their email.

On the other hand, companies recognising the innovation and commercial potential of requesting more data from customers are finding the process can be complex and fraught with technical and compliance challenges, not least how to handle consent.’s mission is to empower individuals with their data so that they can not only own, control and curate a copy, but can also reuse it with third parties in return for further benefits. provides a secure means for individuals to request data from companies, either through services being directly supported, which pushes it to the individual’s app, or by requesting it from the service’s application programming interface (API).

An ecosystem of apps built on consent-based sharing platform is also growing. One, ‘That F’ing post’, which uses to request access to an individual’s various social media accounts and help them find rude or swearword-ridden posts, was featured in The Mirror.

By providing a secure and reliable means for individuals to hold their data, organisations can be confident that when they give it back, they have fulfilled their duty of care.

Equally, organisations which request data from individuals can be assured of its provenance, accuracy and the fact the sharing is consented, enabling them to provide greater value to users, as well as new services.

This new model puts individuals at the heart of their data allowing organisations to build better relationships with their consumers while increasing privacy, security and control.

Today supports a wide variety of sources including social media, banking, wearables, as well as medical records in some jurisdictions including Iceland, England, US and the Netherlands.

  • If you are an individual wanting to take control of your data, try today.
  • If you are an organisation looking to build better relationships with your consumers and improve the way they share and use data, get in touch to find out more.