PDEC Startup Circle Launched concurrent with World Economic Forum meeting

Who: Kaliya Hamlin, Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium (PDEC) executive director
What: Ms. Hamlin announces PDEC’s first class of members in its Startup Circle
When: Tuesday, 7 June 2011 at 1300 Vienna, Noon London, 5:00 AM New York and 3:00 AM San Francisco
Where: Vienna, Austria
Why: The first thirteen Startup Circle companies are building tools that shift control of personal data from corporations to individuals.

Today’s Story:

Vienna, Austria, June 7, 2011. Somebody’s watching you… and we’re not talking about a stalker.

Your interests and browsing patterns, your family relationships and lists of friends, your recent purchases, your income and investments, your job and academic history, and your health – all are of great interest to companies that make it their business to get to know you better.

This isn’t a bad thing, considering that most of the time your preferences are used to help you find more of the things you already like, make your choices easier, solve your medical problems safely, facilitate communication, and help in other life-improving ways. Imagine trying to send webmail without an address book, for example — or applying for a job without a resume.

On the flip side, it isn’t hard to think about ways our data could be misused or insecurely stored –- as dozens of eminent institutions that have recently lost control of customers’ social security numbers and credit card information can attest.  The dark side of personal data collection has so far led to stronger regulation in Europe than in the US and elsewhere, but countries worldwide have begun to take notice.

To help companies navigate the slippery spaces around self-regulation, to stave off unnecessary regulation, and to ease the potential burden of essential regulation, a new trade association was founded early this year: the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium (PDEC).  PDEC founder Kaliya Hamlin, digital identity expert and a long-term organizer of collaborative meetings convened to develop standards around identity technologies, believes that companies need a support network built of peer corporations, experts and consumers to help them keep safely on the positive side of personal data collection, usage and storage.

PDEC’s first step in building this network is its Startup Circle, some of whose companies met in person in Vienna, Austria, at a World Economic Forum event held in conjunction with its Summit on Europe and Central Asia 2011.  PDEC’s Startup Circle is the first group of small companies in the world with a stated commitment to fostering personal control over personal data.  These global citizens are both users and architects of the systems that track and manage a new asset class with value into the billions: personal data.  Privacy protections are just the tip of the iceberg; the industry of managing these assets wisely is in the process of creating new economic opportunities and is a magnet for talent and capital.

Mary Hodder, PDEC board chairperson and veteran Silicon Valley technologist, says, “To the extent that companies have a right to collect personal data, their customers have a right to control it.  The companies that get the balance right are poised for success in the twenty-first century.” Kaliya Hamlin adds, “I support a model that lets me decide where and when companies make use of my data.  The market that gives me my choice of services will win.”  The PDEC board also includes Clay Shirky, author of “Here Comes Everybody” and “Cognitive Surplus”; Phil Windley, Founder and CTO of the personal data company Kynetx, and Tony Fish, author of “My Digital Footprint.”

In addition to launching Startup Circle this week, the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium is in the process of building the PDEC Industry Collaborative, engaging with technologists and business leaders from banking and finance, telecom, cable, web, advertising, media and other industries seeking to understand opportunities, launch pilot projects and ultimately offer services in the ecosystem.  PDEC’s One Million People for Personal Data initiative gathers early adopters and other people interested in personal data stores and services.

Talking Points

  • The Startup Circle is the first group of small companies committed to personal control over personal data.
  • The Consortium brings together the architects and builders of a personal data ecosystem.
  • The Startup Circle is redefining what it means to be a netizen.
  • Privacy is the shallow end of the Personal Data pool.
  • Personal data is a new asset class.
  • Personal control creates economic opportunity.
  • PDEC is the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, an industry association.
  • The Startup Circle’s first class has members from the USA, Canada, Austria, and the UK.
  • This is a burgeoning sector. A magnet for talent and capital.

Hashtags: #pdec #wef #startupcircle

Members of the PDEC Startup Circle:

imageAzigo. Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts
Your data defines you. Own it.
“We’re a happy band of developers, designers and entrepreneurs dedicated to the idea that the more control you have over your own data the more compelling your online experience will be, and the more privacy you will enjoy. Although the data wallet app is new and yet to launch, it stands on a technology platform that has evolved over several years by building solutions for PayPal, Google, Mydex, IBM, Equifax, Acxiom, BBB.org, and others.” Private beta signup.
Paul Trevithick, CEO. Blog post: Why must a personal data ecosystem emerge?

Buyosphere. Montreal, QC, Canada
“Buyosphere is a tool to help you take control of your shopping history: organize it, share it and track how you influence others. Our aim is to turn around consumer culture so that customers have more control over their own data. We have a pretty good inkling that this data will become more and more valuable as time goes on. Ever see Minority Report? You know that scene where Tom Cruise’s character is walking through the passageways and being bombarded with ads? That is what is happening today with every transaction we make on our credit cards and anywhere we leave a trail of our information (aka Internet). Sure, some of the results of this will be positive (better recommendations), but imagine if we could turn some of this around? I think we could set our own parameters and have our future look a bit less invasive.” Buyosphere’s Data Portability policy.
Tara Hunt, Jerome Paradis, Cassandra Girard, co-founders. EmailTwitter.

imageConnect.me. San Francisco, California
Get more out of your connections.
“Connect.Me is a San Francisco based company creating a personal layer for the social web. Build your reputation and gain access to respected people and communities across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Vouch for people you respect and get vouched for your skills or passions. At Connect.Me, we believe that privacy, control, and reputation are the big challenges and opportunities for the social web. We published the Respect Trust Framework as the first personal trust framework that gives individuals control over the personal data they share on the Internet or social networks.”
Joe Johnston, CEO and co-founder.
Media contact: Drummond Reed on twitter, skype. +1.206.618.8530. Blog post: Connect.Me Joins PDEC Startup Circle for quotes from Johnston, Reed.

imageGluu. Bulverde, Texas
A New Dawn for Federated Identity
“The Gluu Identity Appliance turns a public or private cloud instance into an organizational identity provider (IDP). The primary reason an organization would want to have an IDP is for single sign-on to several websites. Gluu leverages the Shibboleth SAML platform, which was developed by universities and is deployed at hundreds of institutions. The Identity Appliance greatly reduces the complexity of deploying and managing an IDP infrastructure.”
Michael Schwartz, CEO and Founder. +1-646-558-0023. info@gluu.org.

imageMydex.org. Larbert, Stirlingshire, UK
Your data, your way
“Mydex’s mission is to help individuals realise the value of their personal data. We do this by providing individuals with Personal Data Stores and related services. Personal Data Stores help individuals gather, store, manage, use and share the information they need to manage their lives better. They provide individuals with tools to control what information they share with which people and organisations, when they choose.”
William Heath, Chairman. +44 (0)7973 115 024.

imagePersonal InfoCloud. Bethesda, Maryland.
A social interaction design and analyst firm specializing in personal data reuse and vendor relationship management.
Thomas Vander Wal, Principal. email. skype. +1 240.481.8063. blog.

Personal Washington, D.C.
Personal is a web and mobile platform that enables individuals to own, control access to and benefit from their data by organizing and managing their information within our private data vault. We believe that people, not companies, should own their data and decide how it’s used.
Shane Green, Co-Founder and CEO. Media contact: Karen Sippel, email, +1-202-559-7318. Twitter.
Video about Personal.

Privo. Vienna, Virginia
Privacy, Permission & Trust
“Privo is the trusted third party provider of age verification for minors and parent permission management solutions, enabling our customers to provide a safe online environment for minors.”
Denise Tayloe, CEO. Media: Carol Altarescu, +1-914–523–9578, caltarescu@privo.com.

imageProject Danube. Wien, Austria.
Open-Source Sofware for Identity & Personal Data Services
Project Danube is an open-source project offering software for identity and personal data services on the Internet. The core of this project is an XDI-based Personal Data Store – a semantic database for your personal data, which always remains under your control. Applications on top of this database include the Federated Social Web, the selective sharing of personal data with organizations, and much more.”
Markus Sabadello, CEO. twitter, +43 664 3154848.

PDEC Statup Circle Statement from Markus Sabadello on Vimeo. (2:01)

Reputation.com. Redwood City, California.
Take Control. Get Results.
Reputation.com is the global leader of online reputation management and privacy solutions. With customers in more than 100 countries, the company is working towards its mission to empower individuals and businesses with control of their information online.
Michael Fertik, CEO and Founder, World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer 2011.
Media contact: skype. +1-650-409-7371. twitter.

Singly. San Francisco
“Locker pulls together all of my personal data – my tweets, my photos, my contacts and all my social relationships. It holds things like my email, call logs, and purchase history. It does a bunch of complicated things for me, so that developers don’t have to. It puts me at the center of the web, and allows me to choose where, when and with whom I share copies of my data.”
Jason Kavnar, CEO.

SwitchBook. Santa Barbara, California
Complex Searches Made Simple
Book helps manage user-driven searches across multiple search providers and websites, creating a powerful new way to explicitly express search intent anywhere on the Internet.”
Joe Andrieu, CEO. email. +1 (805) 705-8651

imageThe Customer’s Voice. London, UK.
You at the centre of your online buying
The Customer’s Voice helps individuals better manage their supply relationships, and in doing so provides organisations with the reasons and means to engage with VRM-enabled individuals, to the benefit of both parties. Our service will launch as an application on the Mydex platform in late 2011.
Iain Henderson, CEO. email. twitter. Blogged remarks on joining the PDEC Startup circle.

About PDEC

The Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, or PDEC, was founded in 2010 by Kaliya Hamlin to catalyze a thriving ecosystem:

  • Advocating for individuals having the tools and rights to access and manage their own data;
  • Helping business sectors that depended on and made money in the old personal data ecosystem to transform their practices to make money in the new one;
  • Supporting the entrepreneurs building new businesses around user-centric personal data and trust.

PDEC explicitly supports cooperation and collaboration for developing open standards, interoperability, large and small company collaboration and feedback loops for notice and choice, auditing standards and resource sharing.  For more information or to become a member, please contact Phil Wolff, pwolff@personaldataecosystem.org or skype.

PDEC Media Contact:

Silicon Valley: +1-650-260-4491
Skype: maryhodder or identitywoman
twitter: @personaldata

More PDEC resources for news media.

Our Team

PDEC’s Staff and Board executive bios and photos.
Staff: Kaliya Hamlin (executive director), Phil Wolff
Board: Mary Hodder (chair), Clay Shirky, Phillip J. Windley, Tony Fish


  1. […] The Startup Circle – for startups committed to putting people in control of their own data, open standards and interoperability […]

  2. […] meeting June 7, 2011 – Vienna, Austria PDEC announced the launch of the Startup Circle. Read our post to learn more about it. Kaliya Hamlin convened dinner with three startup circle members the […]

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