Personal Data Empowerment Picking Up Academic Steam

Personal data empowerment is becoming an issue.  In a post-Snowden era, individuals are at least aware of privacy as a concern, creating an interesting new market.  One slide in our pitch deck shows 9 new startup entries into the space in one form or another in 2014 alone!  But often, real change can start in academia before it trickles down to the private sector.  We’ve written before about OpenPDS, a platform for data ownership and control out of MIT, piloted by Alex (Sandy) Pentland from the Media Lab.  MIT has created several disruptive technologies in the past, making that push an interesting one to watch.

But a new initiative coming out of the UK combines a host of academic and private sector partners to try and tackle the issue.  The project is called ‘Hub-of-all-Things’ (HAT) and looks to research how to make the individual become the central point of access for all of their own data.  They’ve combined forces with Piled Higher and Deeper (PhD) Comics to create an explanatory video, which allies itself almost 1-to-1 with the mission statement of TwoSense:

At TwoSense, we are excited to see that this topic is popping up on people’s radar. There are so many unanswered questions in the space, and the more people who work towards this common goal, the better the chances of effecting real social change for the benefit of individuals everywhere.  We have a different take on how to reach that goal, namely starting with the individual and working up, rather than starting with businesses and working down.  But, as the old adage goes, “a rising tide lifts all ships.”  We look forward to the insight and innovations that will come out of this project.

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