Personal, a start-up company, offers to empower each of us to manage our digital data, share at will and get compensated when companies capitalize on our data, Personal’s service is a personal data bank, that keeps your assets for you in a friendly and intuitive way, facilitates permission based sharing and may trade with them in your name.
It is an early example of user side personal data management services. This personal information vault may be seen as the equivalent of a bank vault combined with an account management and services platform. It is based on a simple assumption that personal data should be managed and shared user side, as a form of currency.
Why is it necessary? In a ubiquitous world where personal cloud services will become natural, always-on assumes accessibility to my personal digital materials. There are already file hosting cloud based services like Dropbox, that allow instant accessibility and intuitive sharing to all files saved through the service as they are also instantly saved to all computers, phones, and the Dropbox website.
Personal takes this notion a step further to create intuitive topic/functionality based data gems, modular data capsules that address specific information, topics and needs. This icon based personal digital filing system around personal data and functional information – such as insurance information, appliances’ specifications, pets’ regime, registrations….. over a 100 data gems filed under icon based digital files, empower users’ intuitive access to functional data and information in a pin pointed manner, easily shared per need.
The value of these data gems starts with the user experience. Yes, we all have files and folders that we build according to our logic and personal tagging. Data gems facilitate organizing and managing users’ practical information and data by objectifying data units and wrapping them in a universal symbol capsule system. The user oriented conceptualization, functionality though an icon based universal symbolic language, makes the experience simplified, flowing and personal. The visual user friendly iconography frees users from individually reconstructing where the needed information resides, under what tags it was filed. This intuitive usability approach and detailed lego-like granularity, facilitates bridging digital divides by accommodating people that are not digitally intuitive to information handling, filing and sharing , and facilitates accessibility to that information if someone trusted needs to quickly find some functional data.
Icentered envisions a future of user controlled personal data management, that will replace the need to trust providers and rely on their privacy policies. This user side data management paradigm will empower Contextonomics – a user side trading with personal contextual information, rewarding users as equal partners in the food chains for their data tracking and as means for attention bartering.
The topic of users’ data ownership and privacy control is controversial. I believe that once users side platforms and personal data management services like Personal will empower users to store, manage and share their personal data with other people, advertisers and providers, user based contextonomics models will start to replace the traditional corporate based business models, an important stage towards a user centric digital economy.