Founder- Kaliya Young


 Kaliya Young (aka Identity Woman)

In October 2010, Kaliya, aka Identity Woman, built the first Personal Data Ecosystem website, aggregating information about the latest activity among start-ups focused on personal data. This grew out of observations and discussions Kaliya had with attendees at a series of the semi-annual IIW (Internet Identity Workshop) gatherings, where it became apparent that a community of startups and emerging businesses focused around Personal Data were in need of a group, an association, a common meeting ground in which to share ideas, concerns, opportunities, and join together to offer help, support,  consultation, and problem solving.  The idea of a group mind, similar to the unconference format Kaliya champions, was a clear need at the time.

The PDEC group that met in June 2011 convened the first meeting of startup companies into a Startup Circle. Those connecting these emerging companies  — all of whom shared a strong commitment to end-user control over their data — was a groundbreaking event.  Kaliya’s observation was that those businesses are similar to the green or sustainable or natural foods companies, which can’t  do the good they want to do unless they also make money.  To be successful in both arenas — economic and protecting personal data ownership — they are creating an alignment between for-profit and socially responsible business models, and collaborating to create a culture that uniformly protects and serves the interests of the individuals whose data they service. These companies mirror the early organic and natural foods companies that founded SVN and  they are setting a high bar for ethical data services for individuals.

On her personal website,, Kaliya describes the early formation of PDEC by saying she founded the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium to catalyze a network of companies working to give individuals the tools to collect, manage and gain value from their own personal data generated actively and passively as they interact with all kinds of digital systems.

PDEC has grown through the years, and under Kaliya’s guidance has become a strong association, representing a wide swath of companies in the Personal Information Economy.  Kaliya’s many presentations and seminars have helped numerous PDEC members and conference and seminar attendees learn more about the Personal Data Ecosystem. Kaliya’s deep knowledge and insight into the many aspects of the field make her a sought-after speaker and seminar leader.

In 2014 after a period of transition, she turned over the day-to-day management of PDEC to a governance board and a new Executive Director.  Kaliya currently serves as PDEC Thought Leader and Catalyst Emeritus. It is a newly defined role for a new kind of industry association whose purpose is to catalyze the development of an ecosystem of user-centric business models around personal data, supplanting the current 3rd party tracking and advertising-driven ecosystem. It also serves the burgeoning Personal Information Economy and the companies working in this emerging and valuable arena.

There wouldn’t be PDEC if not for Kaliya.  We salute her and are forever appreciative of her as founder, chief energizer, and motivator, and the true guiding spirit of PDEC.