I was reading an interesting article by Doc Searls on the data bubble where he makes interesting observations on how customers leave a lot of data and information across digital platforms and various devices that they carry, which is being exploited by business today and the need for customers to control the data rather than business controlling the data. Quoting him:
Their understanding of our identity is not the same as our understanding of our identity. What they have are a bunch of derived assumptions that may or may not be correct; and even if they are, they are not ours.
I completely agree with him. For example, in many of the social network sites that I am member of, I may not necessarily want the data that I have left behind to be available to social media companies like facebook and twitter or make them available to crawlers or made public to everybody who I know in that list without my permission. Also, the invasion of privacy of information by Location based service providers like foursquare, Loopt etc. is quite dramatic too. For example, I had commented on an airline service that I was unhappy about and some service issues I had faced and immediately I was besieged with a lot of travel offers thro' Google adsense, emails from other businesses etc. Not to mention, my mobile phone data(GPRS) is also open and I end getting junk messages that I would like to get rid of. My page was covered with ads and I didn't want them anyway.
In fact, I believe, there is a crying need to build a personal data vault service - a kind of a brokerage house that owns this information and drives memberships & permissions with individual customers. The customer controls the information that she/he gives permission to part with to the service provider. May be there is a revenue share that certain customers may expect in return of use of that information.
Kaliya makes some interesting points on how to build a personal data ecosystem and what does it take to build one. She has a a vision document where she outlines core aspects of the emerging interoperable, open standards based ecosystem of personal data services – rooted in the core functionality of a Personal Data Store – the vault/locker/services/broker where all an individuals data is collected and stored and managed.
Information & relationships between people must be protected and to make information work harder & effectively, there is a need to give this control to the customer.