February 07, 2011

Speaking of Speaking.. the Personal Data Ecosystem Emerges

The last two weeks I've been speaking a lot. Why?

On 1/28/11 I was at She's Geeky SF leading a session with Kaliya Hamlin, Executive Director of Personal Data Ecosystem, where about 50 women came to talk about what this emerging organization and space are all about, and hear about what Kaliya Hamlin and I were submitting to the Department of Commerce in response to their Green Paper. On 1/3/11 I was at BigDataCamp 2011 (the night before O'Reilly's Strata) in Santa Clara, to lead a session on Personal Data Ecosystems. And on 2/3/11, I was on a panel called CRM versus VRM: Who Controls the Conversation at the Conversational Commerce Summit in SF. Also talking about the Personal Data Ecosystem.

Why all this talking? Well.. as I mentioned Kaliya Hamlin and I have submitted a response to the Department of Commerce Green Paper where they asked for comments about the FTC's Do Not Track proposal and options for how to protect user privacy and conduct secure logins, while still engaging in what the DOC does.. which is advise Congress on how to promote commerce in the Union.

I'm the Chair of the Board of Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium.

And I'm currently writing a response to the FTC's Do Not Track proposal.

Why all this work? Well.. I think the two extremes of on the one hand: shutting down tracking, or on the other: allowing a sort of "business as usual" stance for the intense tracking that goes on as we traverse the web, use our cell phones and generally act through digital mediums aren't the answers. We do need to dramatically alter what is happening, but not shut down the data.

Why? Instead of do not track, I want there a systems where *only I can self tracking*. Because I am the *only* ethical integration point of data about me.

Can you imagine if we did a "do not track" in 1979 when Airline Mileage Programs were just getting started? People have benefited enormously from them.. to the tune, per the Economist in 2005, of $700 billion in benefits. People want some self tracking, if they get something of value. They may want their histories private, but able to share a score or a piece of it, when they want. Because our data is gold. And we deserve to benefit from it.

We need to track ourselves, but only if we want to. And there needs to be no tracking of us, across sites, if we don't want it. But if we do, we need the ability to take our data, aggregate it, and trade it for goods. And to correct it, or delete it Like free plane tickets. And a lot of other things I think we can't imagine now. Because the Personal Data Ecosystem, and things like Vendor Relationship Management are just getting started.

We need to limit the surreptitious stalking of ourselves across digital platforms and sites by others, and take back the ownership of our own data, to be aggregated, deleted and managed only by the individual. And traded when we want to in a marketplace. And we need 4th Amendment protection for our personal data stores.

And we need marketplaces, much like the Mileage marketplaces, that allow us to trade our information, we need Personal Data Services that will store our data, make it portable, so that we can move our data when we want to (think taking your money from one bank and putting it into another) and we need an applications market for developers to do creative and interesting things with our data.

It's time.

Posted by Mary Hodder at February 7, 2011 12:44 PM | TrackBack

The goal with Do-not-track is to block cross-site tracking. That principle would not have stopped American Airlines from knowing all the flights you took on American. It would have stopped a central flight tracker from knowing all the trips you took on all the airlines.

I don't actually think that all this data about our habits is as gold as some people think it is. I think it's worth tens of billions -- but in a marketplace worth hundreds of trillions.

But I do agree that the only place it should live is a computer under my control. That's how it was in the days of the PC, and I've been blogging the last few years about the search for a marriage between the advantages of the cloud and the PC, calling it data hosting. http://ideas.4brad.com/tags/data-hosting has some posts on it.

Posted by: Brad Templeton at February 18, 2011 12:36 AM

You go grrrrl!

Even way out here in the hinter lands of Cleveland, where there are no jobs, no hi-tech and nobody like Mary or Kaliya - your message resonates.

I just wish that the cushy white kids - all of whom have no problem getting jobs - would help try and bring innovation, programs and work - to those who need it the most.

We can spend our time worrying about our personal data and privacy, but if we're starving, can't pay rent and have no outlooks - will hell even a job at TSA looks better than nothing.

Posted by: Marc Canter at February 18, 2011 09:35 AM