Your Digital Life
Everyone should be able to manage their personal data
with a personal information management system.
the short run, but this would also make
them totally dependent of that company. Although this is debatable, we will
assume that, given a choice, most users
would prefer to avoid such a solution.
Another possibility is to ask users to
spend a few years of their lives study-
ing to become computer wizards. We
However, this situation is not only un-
satisfactory because it requires users
to trade privacy against convenience
but also, because it limits the value
we, as individuals and as a society,
can derive from the data.
We live in a world where data is considered a vital asset and where most
people consider they have little, if
any, control over their personal data.
This is surely detrimental to trust, innovation, and growth. In this world,
we are also limited in leveraging all
this existing information because it
resides in isolated silos kept apart by
technical incompatibilities, semantic
fuzziness, organizational barriers, as
well as privacy regulations. The situa-
a Data that we publish (for example, pictures),
produce (for example, contacts), co-produce
socially (for example, in social networks), data
that organizations produce about us (for example, banks, public administrations), data
about us captured by sensors (for example,
GPS), and so forth.
tion gets worse as the number of data
sources keeps growing.
Of course, users could choose to
delegate all their information to a single company (some companies clearly
dream of offering all the spectrum of
information services). This would definitely make the users’ lives easier in