Personalised data is a great idea but the barriers are steep and spiky

personalised data
Image by grandfailure | Bigstockphoto

Personalised data is now how we view digital nirvana. Complete control of our personal data must, we believe, be within our grasp.

As an idea, it is.

Already concepts such as Vendor Relationship Management are being more actively discussed, while ad blocking, new iOS privacy updates and a host of other initiatives are leading in that direction.

Truly personalised data is still a long way away in practice. There are roadmaps, of course, and Jouko Ahvenainen describes one that, in principle, will work well.

It is definitely possible to “imagine a world where your own AI helps you with your data, your money is in your crypto-wallet, and communications tools are built on decentralized solutions and open-source components.”

Ultimately, personalised data may indeed be controlled like that.

The trouble is that there is so much data out there that working out where the boundaries lie will be a Herculean task. Even the new Chair of the FCC, Lina Khan, an experienced advocate of strategies for controlling big data, was shocked at the ‘staggering’ amount of data that telcos and big tech hold on us. She was equally shocked that some were unable to deliver the new set of cookie choices.

A recent request for information released a report from the FBI in the US that details what data telcos keep, for how long and for what purpose. There is location data from cell sites, engineering data, and personal data, divided into at least 16 sections.

There is a lot of data – a staggering amount of data.

And a lot of it must be kept, by law, and shared with law enforcement agencies when there is any ‘probable cause’ to need it.

Therefore, is it realistic for personalised data to be, well, personal and in any way private? Where are the boundaries between the needs of law and order and the individual’s need for privacy? Are we heading towards a scenario where the State (or big tech) holds our data, and we can only decide what to do with parts of it? Is that in any way realistic?

The questions around privacy, personalised data and security are incredibly complex. The answers are even more so.

Related article:

How much data does Google really have on us? And why?

1 Comment

  1. It is indeed complex. One part is that you would have at least a copy of your personal data or even part of that. Then you could also personally utilize it. Of course, there are many categories of the data and some of it have legal requirements to store (like telco and banking data), but also a lot of categories it is not required. It is not one big jump to another model, but we can see evidences not only to have legal rights to get more personal data, but also to get better tools to get personal value from it. Health data and wearable data is one very interesting category, when it is really something you personally generate and it is very sensitive. It is an interesting battle, when some companies try to charge it from yourself and also to sell other parties. I believe it is one of the first areas, we see big changes.

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