Tag Archives: personal

Digi.me merges with Personal to create global personal data control powerhouse

Digi.me and Personal are combining forces through a merger, bringing together the leading European and US companies in the emerging personal data ecosystem to provide a single integrated solution for consumers and businesses.

Both companies have pioneered innovative technologies to empower individuals to gain control over the growing amount of data and analytics about themselves that fuels the digital world. They directly address the challenge of enhancing privacy while increasing the ability of people to benefit from sharing and analysing data, including by apps on a mobile phone without the data ever having to leave the phone.

The combined business will be called digi.me, with its global HQ near London in the UK and the US operation based in Washington, DC. Personal’s enterprise solutions, known as TeamData, will be spun off as a separate information security and productivity company for businesses. The combined global workforce of over 60 people will continue to work for digi.me.

“We are excited to bring together the best of digi.me and Personal to accelerate the growth of our combined products and network of partners,” said Julian Ranger, Founder and Chairman of digi.me. “We have each built complementary infrastructure and products necessary for individuals to easily aggregate and share data whilst maintaining its security and privacy. It’s a win-win for individuals and for companies who embrace this model of transparency and trust.”

“Everything is powered by data today, but without clear benefit for the individual,” said Shane Green, Co-founder and CEO of Personal, who will serve as CEO of digi.me (US). “In a world of rapidly expanding artificial intelligence, analytics and personalised experiences, it is critical that we as individuals have the tools and rules to ensure our interests are also served by our data.”

Digi.me and Personal have raised over $45 million between them, attracting leading investors such as the Omidyar Network, SwissRe, Planetary Holdings, TCS Capital Management, Allen & Company, Revolution Ventures, Ted Leonsis and Esther Dyson.

Digi.me allows individuals to easily aggregate a broad and deep range of their social media data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr and other popular sources along with financial data from hundreds of sources in a secure library.

Companies and developers can then use digi.me’s APIs to request access to integrated data sets to provide better data-driven experiences, services, and rewards, and to provide other benefits like rich personal analytics. Health, wearable and music data will also be available soon after the merger. Current partners of digi.me include Swiss Re, Western Digital, Lenovo, Amgen, Dattaca Labs and FNAC.

Personal is focused on secure, collaborative creation and management of reusable data constantly needed by people at home and work to complete thousands of information-related tasks. It supports a multitude of data types from passwords, credit cards and IDs to detailed data for office and home use such as insurance, health and personal data of employees and family members. A free version of Personal’s TeamData app will be available for individual use following the merger and will be integrated into digi.me later this year.

The combined version of digi.me and Personal will allow seamless management of thousands of different types of both feed and manually-created data, supported by the industry’s leading structured data ontology and data normalisation technology. It will also allow secure sharing and far richer data-driven experiences between individuals and third party apps, and allow companies to reduce business and regulatory risks by requesting access directly from users.

“People assume there is a fundamental trade-off between sharing data and privacy, with Americans historically favouring sharing and Europeans favouring privacy” said Rory Donnelly, CEO of digi.me. “That no longer has to be the case when the individual controls much of the critical data about them and their lives. We are delivering the exact permission-based technology solution regulators and CEOs have been seeking.”

“There simply isn’t any way we can create this exciting, data-driven future without individual agency over data,” said CV Madhukar, Investment Partner at Omidyar Network. “Companies can use data to improve our lives, but their interests must be balanced with that of the individual: users must always have choice over who they reward with their trust and data.”

Find more information about digi.me, including the app, at https://www.digi.me, Teamdata is at https://teamdata.com/

#9 (of 12) reasons to love digi.me – add your own pictures and posts

Having all of your social network content in one place makes for a pretty comprehensive picture of you – but what about the things you didn’t post online? (gasp)

Because we know how important having a complete online picture of you is, one of the recent digi.me updates added the opportunity to add your own posts and pictures that hadn’t been previously shared to your journal.

And so on the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me – the chance to make the sum of my online life fully rounded.

Adding your own content couldn’t be easier – simply navigate to the journal view from the home page, and you’ll see an ‘Add something’ bar at the top, with a space waiting to be filled and the option to upload pictures.

Simply start typing, upload anything you want to, and it will be added to your online library on the day entered. Simples, as a certain Meercat might say. These personal entries can be organised into collections, and are searchable, as with all your other account information.

Of course, this is just one great feature among many, which include flashback, universal search, Collection curation and export and so many more. We’ve got new touches being added all the time, and have an iOS app in the works.

Find out just how digi.me can enrich your life by downloading it now – it’s 50% off in December so even more of a bargain than usual!

Friday Fun: Back to School?

It doesn’t seem possible that Summer (what Summer, ask all UK users) is nearly over, but the time for back to school is nearly upon us.

Shorts and swimming clothes are being put away as parents scramble to get all the requisite bits of uniform acquired in the correct sizes and labelled with their child’s name for when they are inevitably lost.

This will be my first year as a mum of a schoolchild, and it’s set me thinking about my own first schooldays a long, long time ago.

I didn’t have to wear a uniform, and this being the 70s all the children wore browns, beiges and dark reds – none of the colourful brights young clothing comes in today.

My parents were quite relaxed about school, so there’s no proud first day photo such as the one I will undoubtedly take of my son and post on social media.

I’m sure, too, I’ll love looking back on it as time goes on and my little four year-old grows up.

Do you have a favourite picture from your schooldays? Please share it in the comments with any memories.

And, if you too want to find and remember key events in your life, download digi.me for free now!

What Does Your Phone Know About You?

These days we really do rely on our mobile phones and it is quite scary to think how much your phone knows about you, where you have been and who you have seen.  It even knows some of your favourite hobbies, interests and activities. It is in essence your digital brain!  What would you do without it?

Mobile phones have moved on an incredible amount over the past 30 years, from a device that is clunky and cumbersome to small, light incredibly fast computers that fit in our pockets and handbags. We connect other devices to them such as our fitness trackers, smartwatches, children’s toys and much more.  They are the central hub of our daily lives.  As such they collect a massive amount of data about us.  Some of which is passed on to the applications that we use and some just sits idle on the phone.  Then there is some data that goes back to the carrier as well and some that is collected by the sites that we browse. They are complicated little devices and often we forget just how valuable that data is to us until we lose or break our phone.

A couple of weeks back I wrote a piece on how you can find your phone using the data stored online about you that relates to your phone and it’s location.  This week I thought we would look more at just what data there is on these devices and why it is important to secure and back up your phone and it’s content.

Most mobile phones these days have the option for you to store a copy of your photo’s and contacts in the cloud.  This means that every new contact and photo is saved both on your phone and somewhere on the internet.  The chance of losing this data is low unless of course you haven’t set your phone up to do that. It is one of the first things I set up whenever I get a new phone and I would recommend that if you haven’t done this already then do it as it is a life saver when your phone is damaged or lost as you still have all your contacts and those precious pictures of friends and family.

The next thing that I always set up is a way to secure my phone so that if I lose it someone else can’t just use my phone, run up a massive bill and cause all sorts of trouble. I have heard too many friends lose their phones abroad and because it is abroad they are still liable for the call charges made. Put a pin on it and it is at least a deterrent. You can also turn on phone tracking and remote wipe which take that process one step further. The only issue with these is that you need to have GPS turned on and this can be a bit of a battery drain. You can still find your phone’s last known location through other means so to me this is not essential.  Android phones track where you are using a process called triangulation which uses WiFi and cellular data to identify where you were last so I tend to use that as my fallback.

The apps that you have installed on your phone and have paid for are all stored by the app store where you bought them from so these too are recoverable. The data within these apps is stored remotely too by the app creators. As long as you have stored your contacts, pics and videos remotely you should be able to pretty much recreate your device time and time again. This is the beauty of distributed data.

Looking at this another way though all that distributed data is accessible from a single point – your phone. Once someone has that they have access and potentially control of everything. Just bear that in mind the next time you turn your phone on and you haven’t got any security turned on. You are putting your online identity at risk. That digital footprint that we have talked about here on the blog a few times could become compromised if you don’t protect it properly.

This article was brought to you by digi.me who put you in control of your social media content. Download it now to protect your digital memories. 

Friday Fun: 3, 2, 1…

This Friday we thought we would have some fun by sharing with you three features that our users really love!

3. PDF Export: Save all your social media content forever by exporting it into a PDF. You can print it, share it or just save it in case you need it one day.

2. Search: You can’t find a picture online but can’t remember if you shared it on Twitter, Facebook or Instergram but you know you shared it… try a quick search on digi.me and you’ll soon find what you were looking for!

1. Journal: People love the journal as a great way to look back over their content, filtering it by date or just looking back a year from now.

Bonus!

We have just added the ability for you to now export your social media data to Evernote as well! Next to that all important PDF icon is now the Evernote elephant logo. Click on it and try it out! Let us know what you think!

If you aren’t already using digi.me why not try it out for free!

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See our user survey results for more digi.me insights!

Friday Fun: Archiving… Really?

Have I gone completely crazy I hear you say! How can archiving be fun… Why would I want to do that?  So lets go back to the beginning, you joined a social network to share moments and memories with friends.  You’ve now built up a few months or many years of memories online that have a lot of personal meaning to you and you don’t really want to lose them.  So how do you capture them and what will you do with them next?

Capturing those memories is relatively easy to do with digi.me you just download the app, connect it to your social networks and off it goes and archives your digital memories.  What you do with them from this moment onward is really up to your imagination.

The big question is how can we make that process more fun for you?  If we could make archiving into a fun thing to do what and how would we do that and make you smile at the same time?

Cute Kitty Pic Alert!!!
Cute Kitty Pic Alert!!!

We could show you some cats or other cute pictures… We could show you a few of those memories whilst they are being put on your computer… but what would make you go oooh and aaah!!!

Leave a comment or share your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus with us! 

Who uses your social media data and how?

Have you ever wondered who is using your social media data and for what purpose they are using it?  How do you keep up with the latest privacy policy changes and do they matter to you? This article will cover a few different approaches to managing and auditing your social media footprint.

We all use various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to name just a few.  When we initially signed up all those years ago we signed up with a purpose and an expectation about what information we were happy to share with these companies and how that data was likely to be used.  We may not have read all the pages and pages of terms and conditions but all in all we got what we wanted. Access to share content with our friends, family and colleagues in a quick, simple and easy to use way on any device we choose.

The platforms that we use have changed over the past 5 years and so has the direction of many of these social media companies.  They quickly realized that the data about you was and still is one of their most valuable assets. So much so that they are now starting to close the doors on third parties accessing this data without paying for it. Companies now have to pay to advertise to you where in the early days anyone with a Facebook page or Twitter account could do that. But what does this all mean for you and your data?

Put simply your data is now a commodity. Something that can be bought, exchanged and sold. But that is my digital life I hear you say! Indeed it is, and you should be able to control who has access to your data and how.  All the social networks have privacy settings, almost every time terms and conditions change there is a change to the privacy settings and how these work across your data.

When did you last check your privacy settings? An important question that many of us don’t necessarily know the answer to.  Quickly log into your social networks and check your privacy settings. Tighten up the security and review which apps and services have access to your data along with which people can view it.

You may also want to do an audit of who you have on your contacts lists at the same time. There is no point having contacts accessing your data that aren’t of any interest to you. They flood your timelines with irrelevant updates and cut the usefulness of the services.

Auditing your social media platforms isn’t just something that business users of social networks should do, it is something that we all need to do to make sure we aren’t vulnerable to identity theft at worst or naïvely giving away too much of our personal information at best.

If you would like to share your top tips and social media insights on our blog get in touch.

Doing something different with your social media data

We all have social media data all over the place, be it on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.  We update our statuses, share pictures and videos or interesting links with friends, family and colleagues.  But after that what do we do with it?  Many of us just leave the content there and never really look back at it.

What Would You Like to Do With Your Data?

Digi.me puts you in control of your data and a few of the ideas that some of our users have come up with are truly inspiring.  Ideas that were suggested ranged from creating physical journals of conversations to picture montages from the last month.

Right now with digi.me you can take all your social media content and put it in a single place which you are in control of.  From here you can view it, analyse it and even look back over it to see what you were doing last week, month, year or even at a custom point or period in time.  You can export that data and use it in any way you choose to.

At the end of the day it is your data and you can do literally anything with it! All you need is a little imagination and some time to make it happen.

So why not give digi.me a try if you haven’t done already and do something different with your data.

If you already use digi.me let us know how you are using your data in fun and creative ways.  We love to inspire our users and show you what one another are doing with your data.

Visit digi.me on Stand M-158 at Collision Conference on Day 2

Digi.me have a stand at Collision Conference in Las Vegas from the 2nd – 4th May 2015.  You will find us on stand M-158 and we would love to meet you!

If you are coming to Collision Conference make sure you pop by and say hello.  We would love to show you where we are going to take digi.me in the future and show you where we are today with our technology.  You will get a chance to meet our Chairman Julian Ranger and our CEO Rory Donnelly.

Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter and let us know that you will be there.

 

 

Sharing – change in control needed

Sharing today is generally seen as positive, but is also associated with negative aspects around privacy. If the negative aspects are not fixed sharing will slow and cease to the detriment to everyone, but there is a solution that will increase benefits to individuals, businesses and society as a whole IF there is a change in control – from business control to individual control.

Sharing is positive because it creates new services and functions that can help individuals, businesses and society as a whole. Sharing has grown through database marketing in 80s/90s; social media in the mid-00s; wider Software as a Service (SaaS) services since; and will grow exponentially more as individuals embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) – provided the “bad” can be controlled.

The negative is privacy; along with the increased sharing of information has always come concerns with regard to privacy. If we look back to the introduction of what might be termed database marketing in the 80s, increased privacy concerns led to the introduction of check boxes on forms stating whether businesses could use the information for other purposes. Today we have dramatically increased the personal data that is shared, both explicitly and hidden, whether that is social media, other web/SAAS services, monitoring of clicks and the like – and with that has come heightened privacy concerns.

The web related privacy concerns have grown ever more over the last 6 years, with greater numbers of people reducing/changing their social media use (or using more private channels), using Do Not Track, Ad blockers, ’going dark’ and other methods. The concept of the “creepy line” is well embedded now within society. Unconstrained and uncorrected, this will lead to a reduction in sharing, curtailing the positive benefits, and crippling new concepts such as IoT, which depends on greater levels of sharing.

This reduction in sharing leads to a discontinuity with dramatic effects. Not only will the Internet of Things be stillborn, but innovation in providing services based on personal data will stall across all domains (personal communications, commerce, health, etc). This will have a dramatically negative effect on businesses, but also individuals and society as a whole.

A BCG report “The value of our digital identity” states “The quantifiable benefit of personal data applications can reach €1 trillion annually to EU-27 by 2020  – with private and public organisations reaping about a third of the total, and consumers the rest” and then on goes on to say ““BUT much of this potential value will fail to materialise if consumers act to restrict the flow of personal data.”

How do we solve this problem and allow, even encourage, greater sharing? The current trajectory MUST be broken and restarted following a different approach in order for the full promise of personal data, inc. the IoT, to be realised

Change in control

There is a perception that there is so much data that it is currently infeasible for individuals to control it in a meaningful way with the information technologies available today, but our aim must be to provide that much needed control.

There are many suggestions for “personal data stores’ or “personal data lockers” and similar, hosted by third parties, to help individuals gain some control over their data. However, these all suffer from a number of issues: control is still via third party; the stores only hold a subset of data which means there is no overall control, no interoperability between different stores and no single point to access; holders of individual’s personal data (e.g. Facebook et al) often don’t allow access for retention by third parties. At best these systems are a band aid to the control issue and provide limited immediate benefits to individuals, severely limiting take up.

However, there is another approach – one in which the overall architecture is different, but at the same time familiar. By approaching the issue of privacy from an alternate architectural viewpoint, it is our contention that many of the problems are mitigated and contrary to there being an additional cost to privacy, there is in fact the reverse: an additional benefit to everyone involved with the new architecture, individuals, businesses and society alike – and at reduced cost.

The fundamental architectural difference is to return ownership and control of personal data to the individual, rather than the control being held exclusively by business

Personal control – the ultimate solution

Personal control is a simple change in perspective:

– Others don’t own your data – you do.

– Others shouldn’t hold your data – you should hold it yourself

By changing the view, this simple insight solves the privacy issue for individuals and the ability of businesses to access that data through user permissions.  This view, and the understanding that underpins it, has been developed by the company digi.me (formerly SocialSafe) in the UK, in a program of work that was initiated in 2009.

Having first downloaded the digi.me software to your device, the software works by retrieving your data directly to your digi.me library on your device – not touching anything else along the way, not the digi.me servers, not anything. A 100% private library of all your data, fused and normalised – social, financial, utilities, purchases, health, leisure and much more.

The digi.me user interface then allows the user to do more with their data, 100% privately, never losing it, and keeping access forever. It helps them be more engaged, have more fun, and to do more things, better – all locally and immediately, thereby giving that crucial incentive to start the process of regaining control of their data.

So digi.me is your librarian, but also extends to being your postman. The postal service is where digi.me controls a certificate system that allows other apps, web sites, etc. to ask the user for permission to see aspects of their data for a specific and permissioned purpose. If the permission is given by the user based on their perception of the offered value proposition, the digi.me app sends the permissioned portion of the ‘rich data’ to the requesting entity. This is summarised in the diagram below and in more detail in a video at http://digi.me/video

(Note: Whilst this architecture is different in that the individual owns and controls all their data, it was noted above that it was also familiar – that is because it is exactly what businesses do. Businesses hold all their own data – and then use local and remote apps to extract greater value. The individual is like a business with all the data available today – it should therefore not be a surprise that the solution is a familiar one!)

Conclusion

So by holding all their own data, individuals regain control and can do more with their data themselves and importantly can decide who they share that data with, what elements are shared, when, for what purpose – in this way the sharing economy can overcome the discontinuity posited above.

(Note: In my previous post I noted that we should define Privacy in the digital age as the “Ability to control your personal data, including who you share it with, when and for what purpose”. By owning your data you are then in control of your own privacy.)