Merc: Battle brewing over control of personal data online

imageMike Swift writes up the personal data space as a contest between individuals and large corporations. Swift interviewed Kaliya Hamlin of the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium and PDEC members, Personal, and Singly. The Consortium doesn’t approach the challenge as a direct conflict. They see a realignment of behavior by people and enterprises producing new economic value for both, weaving a third way that creates, respects, and enforces personal control over personal data.

These startups are finding their own way into the data portability and control challenges. Singly’s Locker Project is an open source personal data store, a place to hold your data on your own PC or server and put that data to use. offers a service to find and shape your publicly visible data across the web. Personal gives you tools share your life’s details, opinions and experiences with just those people you trust.

The Merc didn’t interview the large companies, NGOs and government agencies holding data about billions of people. While many of those enterprises have management champions for personal control, portability principles and business models don’t dominate their executive suites. Helping them find their way is another challenge.

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