The battle over personal data

Our adversaries are no longer international despots or dictators, they are
multi-national companies who exploit every byte of data we produce
to achieve unfathomable riches for themselves. Those who possess
intelligence on our psyches revealing things we don’t even know about ourselves.
Chris Herd | June 27, 2018 | Medium

I live and breathe personal data and data governance. My posts here represent just a tiny sliver of research I have collected and conferences attended over time. I’m a member of loose coalitions around related topics such as self-sovereign identity and personal data stores. It’s hard to remember sometimes that not everyone is talking non-stop about how their data is being taken from them and used against their best interests.

You’d have no difficulty finding surveys that seem to tell us people don’t really care all that much about their privacy. I don’t read those responses the same way. For the most part, we just haven’t come up with interesting enough apps, shopping sites, and/or social network platforms that combine privacy protection with obvious utility.

That isn’t to understate the significance of infrastructure still required to make good on the promise that we can take charge of all our own data and leverage it on our own terms. Or the power of comprehensive regulations. But when good personal data hygiene is embedded in tools we really, really want to use, the tide will change on it.

The author quoted above makes the same point:

What we must build are products and services for which there is a
ubiquitous lust that transcends geographic boundaries.

He also speaks to another objective which is, of course, central to everything we have embedded into our digital platforms. Data protection in the context of community and relationships. Personal data stores sound good in theory but it really is true that our data has its greatest value when we can safely and thoughtfully place it in streams of commerce and/or relationships.


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