Tag Archives: internet of me

Digi.me gearing up for RightsCon Brussels

We’re delighted to be attending RightsCon Brussels this week, joining a incredible roster of speakers plus new technology showcases all inspiring how we build tomorrow’s internet.

Our founder and Executive Chairman, Julian Ranger, will be giving a Lightening Talk on how we can solve personal data privacy issues through sharing more in the Internet of Me.

This session is part of the Personal Data and Privacy Stream, and other talks in the same session include the next steps at the UN for the right to privacy in the digital age, how we advance human-centric personal data, and why the internet should be decentralised.

Altogether, RightsCon Brussels will bring together 1,300+ attendees from 95 countries with 500+ organisations, tech companies, universities, startups, and governments represented in a three-day event covering current and emerging issues, such as as privacy and data protection, encryption and cybersecurity and the Internet of Things.

It’s going to be interesting, stimulating and exhilarating – and we’re delighted to be a part of it!

 

 

Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Loss of personal data control is an Internet tragedy

The loss of control over personal data sharing is one of the three biggest threats to the world wide web as it currently exists, according to its founder.

Writing an open letter in The Guardian to mark the 28th anniversary of his creation, when he wrote the initial proposal for what became the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said he has become increasingly worried over the past year about three new trends, which he believes  “we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool that serves all of humanity.”

And he is keen to see personal data control put back in the hands of those who create it as a major step to solving the first one.

Regarding this first point, loss of personal control of data, he wrote: “The current business model for many websites offers free content in exchange for personal data. Many of us agree to this – albeit often by accepting long and confusing terms and conditions documents – but fundamentally we do not mind some information being collected in exchange for free services.

But, we’re missing a trick. As our data is then held in proprietary silos, out of sight to us, we lose out on the benefits we could realise if we had direct control over this data and chose when and with whom to share it.

“What’s more, we often do not have any way of feeding back to companies what data we’d rather not share – especially with third parties – the T&Cs are all or nothing.”

This, of course, chimes 100 per cent with the Internet of Me vision (image above), where individuals at the centre of their connected world are in charge of their data and what is shared and with whom.

This ideal world, as well as being at the heart of our personal data and company mission, will also be front and centre of the next version of our app, which will allow both more streams of data to be collected in a private library, and the capability for sharing slices of data with directly with companies for personalised rewards.

Sir Tim goes on to point out that this widespread data collection by companies has other impacts, notably increasingly giving goverments the ability to watch our every move online, which creates a chilling effect on free speech.

Combined with the two other major issues of the web making it too easy to spread misinformation and the need for greater transparency in online political advertising, he writes: “These are complex problems, and the solutions will not be simple. But a few broad paths to progress are already clear.

“We must work together with web companies to strike a balance that puts a fair level of data control back in the hands of people, including the development of new technology such as personal “data pods” if needed and exploring alternative revenue models such as subscriptions and micropayments.”

Ultimately, he said: “It has taken all of us to build the web we have, and now it is up to all of us to build the web we want – for everyone.”

 

 

 

The Internet of Me: consented data sharing that benefits us all

This Data Privacy Day, make it your mission to learn more about the Internet of Me – and how it can benefit each and every one of us.

The Internet of Me, which is supported by digi.me, is a vision of the world about which we are very passionate; a world where people own and control their own information and can do more with it, opening up new possibilities for insight and innovation.

The forum has covered many important subject areas, but some of the highlights are below:

Happy reading – and do let us know if you have any ideas for subject areas we should be covering.

How sharing more personal data can lead to greater privacy online

The very concept of online privacy is often described as a myth, and while it’s not hard to see why, it’s more wrong now than it has ever been.

Yes, our personal data is scattered about the web, traded, sold on and held in multiple places that we can neither access nor delete – but the dominance of that situation will soon be the past, with the glorious forces of the Internet of Me riding in to replace it.

The IoM will enable all of us, no matter who we are, to take back control of our data and shape what happens to it and who is allowed to see it.

We don’t benefit from our data being traded at the moment, but the Internet of Me will flip that so that we are the primary beneficiaries, sharing that data on our own terms only when we are happy with what is offered in return.

And businesses win too, finally getting access to data that is 100 per cent accurate and rich in both depth and time – just what innovation needs. And society needs innovation, especially in areas such as health where a mass of accurate data can be hard to obtain.

Of course, online privacy has always been fluid when set against the norms of the offline world.

But the last decade has also seen personal perceptions of privacy change and evolve dramatically with the explosion in online services and social networks on which many of us regularly post huge amounts of personal information.

So how does all of this combine to create a more private world? The simple answer is technology, more specifically digi.me and other application advances that mean processing can be brought to the data, instead of data always having to be handed over.

At the very heart of the digi.me vision is the abilty for each individual having their data in a 100 per cent secure and private library under their control that we, the company, can never see, touch nor hold.

But the arrival soon of our Consented Access platform means you will be able to share your data with a company without it ever leaving your handset, as they can give permission for an app to simply run an algorithm over your data, which returns only the results and means the data never leaves your device.

More sharing, AND greater privacy for your data, is a pretty spectacular combination. And in addition to being more private, this body of data you collect through digi.me- which will shortly include financials and health – creates a body of information that is immensely more powerful than the sum of the parts scattered before this aggregation.

Incoming legislation called the GDPR will also shape this brave new world, creating much more user-centric stringent regulations on the collection of use of personal data, as well as substantial fines for non-compliance.

So privacy online becomes more about choice, with us as the guardians of our own privacy, choosing who else has access and on what terms.

There is no quick overall privacy fix, but one of the aims of digi.me will always be to return ever more privacy to its users and thus be the enablers of an increasingly private world.

Do more with your personal data in 2017

In the spirit of new beginnings and better habits, many of us make New Year’s resolutions around health and work  – but have you considered what you want to do with your data in the next 12 months? Or rather, what you want to start your data doing for you?

If not you should, as online your data is your digital you, and all this information about you, created by you, that is spread far and wide has associated value and power in addition to giving you greater personal insight into key areas of your life.

As our founder Julian Ranger explained recently, when we get access to this wealth of personal data all in one place, great things can happen.

You know digi.me at present as a pretty cool social media back-up tool with a vision to help us all get back in control of our data and do more with it.

So we’re very excited to tell you that the first major step in that plan – which we call the Internet of Me – will be taking place very shortly,  when we drop a major new software release that will let users add other data streams including full financials as well as changing the whole look and feel of the app.

The team at digi.me HQ in the UK have seen the demos  and continue to be blown away by what our developers have achieved. We can’t wait to share it with you and while it will be a limited beta test initially, we’re planning for a general release within the next couple of months.

So stay tuned, because you will not want to miss out on this!

Why data portability is key to the Internet of Me

The only thing we need to worry about with personal data is getting seamless access to it – the rest will fall into place.

In a recent talk to the Stiftung Datenschutz in Leipzig, our Executive Chairman Julian Ranger revealed how a career as an aeronautical career specialising in the military internet gave him the tools and processes to make digi.me.

He said his success then – and digi.me’s now – was founded on three basic principles – bringing power to the edge, as close as you can, finding a simple solution to complex problems, and interoperability – working really hard to make sure as many things can work together as possible.

He said:”When we look at personal data, we’re all concerned about privacy and consent – but are we using personal data effectively, are we using personal data enough? I don’t want to put a lid on it, I want to use personal data more, but whilst being private and having consent.

“That’s interesting because we seem to be given a Faustian choice – we can have everything we want, but then we have to give up privacy. Or we can do nothing with personal data but we can keep ourselves private.

“Now I don’t want that, I want to do everything possible with personal data, I want as many businesses working with us using my personal data as possible, but I also want to keep it private. And those two sides of the coin are not opposites.

“How do we achieve that? We have to keep it simple – we need to bring our data together if we’re going to make better use of it. When we bring it together for an individual, that’s when privacy comes in.

“The only place where all that data can come together is at the individual. If you bring all that data to the individual, it’s their data. The data can be useful to me, because I own it.

“I’m interested in full privacy, full consent but greater use of your data – and that’s what happens when you own your own personal data.

“But the important point is that data portability is the key. We only need to do one thing – we need our data, so we have to have the right of data portability – it powers the Internet of Me. Not just businesses and devices, but governments have to give your data back. Now countries are already doing this.”

He added that it was crucial to mandate APIs for seamless data flow: “It’s no good me having to constantly go and work hard to get my data, it has to be an automatic flow when I log on, just like it is when I want to get my Facebook data or Twitter or other data.

“That is the one thing that we need to worry about, and if we worry about that, nearly all the other problems will disappear over time, because we are now in control and businesses will come to us.”

“The future is now, it’s here and working now.”

Understanding the Personal Data Economy

Explaining the purpose and vision behind giving users back control over their personal data can be one of the trickiest things we have to do.

While more and more people are becoming aware of what happens to their data behind their backs, and the personal data economy, including solutions such as ours, continues to grow apace, for those needing to start from the basics there is a lot to take in.

In future, that job will be made a lot easier by this excellent whitepaper from the Mobile Ecosystems Forum, which is the result of many interviews, including with our founder and personal data privacy expert Julian Ranger.

This, from the foreword, is an effective summing up of the problems facing the data harvesting industry today, and why a change to an individual-centric is both inevitable and beneficial to all: “Simply, the personal data economy describes a powerful new idea: letting individuals take ownership of their information so they can share it with businesses on their terms.

“Interest in the idea is growing for reasons of efficiency and ethics. The average individual has personal data stored in dozens of different locations. but it can be hard to access this information and then share it. Giving data back to individuals would solve this.

“It would also address the concerns some people have about the way companies accrue data about them and, indeed, many companies would welcome this too. Data harvesting is expensive and can be ineffective; companies are looking for an alternative.”

We have always talked about digi.me’s Internet of Me vision, where the user is at the centre of their connected life, being a true win-win for both users and businesses, and the paper explores this in depth in a way that is accessible and interesting for all.

I thoroughly recommend a full read of it – especially as at 33 pages it’s reasonably short and concise!

 

 

Spreading the joy of tech at MESTival

We were delighted to take part in the MESTival festival at St Swithun’s School in Winchester this week.

With over 1,000 students from years 5-13 attending from across Hampshire, the festival aimed to give those attending lots of information about, as well as inspiration for, the STEM careers of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Our aim was to demonstrate the joy of tech and how rewarding a career where you can change people’s lives can be – and our demo showing just how easy coding can be to get in to went down well.

mestival2

Naturally, we also didn’t miss the opportunity to explain why the Internet of Me is the way forward for personal data and privacy, as young people now will arguably be the biggest benefactors of this in years to come.

With exhibitors including the Army and Navy, a host of STEM-related activities including rocket-powered cars, plus lots of information on potential careers and universities, hats off to St Swithun’s for organising an excellent MESTival!

digi.me iOS app demo (trust us, you’ll love it!)

We’re very proud of our digi.me iOS and Android apps, which are available to download here, and thought you’d like to have a look at all the cool features we’re added so you can make the most of your data on the go.

Everything we do, we do it for you (as Bryan Adams almost said), so sit back and enjoy – and then download!

Have something to say? Simply shake your device to leave feedback – you can’t say fairer than that!

digi.me and the Internet of Me is all about user centricity

There’s been a lot of buzz around ‘user centricity’ lately, as a technology megatrend that will unite all others before it.

It stems from an excellent post by Andy Weissman of USV, where he expands on the theme of people being the CEO of their own health, with doctors as their consultants.

As he says, and we agree wholeheartedly with, technology is becoming more and more personal – and people expect that to extend to every area of their lives, including how they manage their health.

In short, they want to be at the centre of their medical universe – and with an increasing number of phone apps that can do actual medical tests and track the likes of fertility, there’s clear evidence that this is already starting to happen.

Aggregrating different streams of information to provide a whole more useful and insightful than the sum of its parts is our guiding vision here at digi.me.

As part of that, we will shortly be giving users the ability to add full health and financial data to their personal data libraries, making them a more rounded and complete picture of their owners’ lives. And with it the ability to do more with that data as well as be in control of it. More data streams will then follow.

Uniting lots of common technological themes and magnifying them is what makes user centricity a megatrend. So platforms such as digi.me, which unlocks the power of personal data for the benefit of users and consumers, and the Internet of Me which seeks to put users at the centre of their connected lives are both prime examples of user centricity, writ large and actually in existence in lives today.

Andy goes on to note: “What is happening may be that the components of medical care are being reordered into something new – patient demanded and patient centric. Defined by the user and user needs…The thing that ties all these together is putting the user – the consumer of the healthcare – at the center of the universe and building out from there.”

User centricity is a growing trend and belief that we can expect to see and hear more and more of in every aspect of our lives, as industries of all kinds acknowledge the power people have in their phones, their data and the associated personal data stores they create, and work with that rather than against it.

And because user centricity is a trend that each of us will be part of and benefit from, we look forward to that happening sooner rather than later.