Items tagged "privacy"

Read about our views on marketplace changes as well as updates on our research and event programmes.

How 'privacy' misses the point

Posted: 20th October, 2014 | 0 comments

If Ctrl-Shift got a pound every time a corporate executive told us ‘there is no evidence consumers really care about privacy’ we’d be millionaires by now - it’s worth unpicking this statement just to see how dangerous it is.

Let’s start with evidence. Everyone agrees that consumers say there are concerned about how their personal data is being collected and used. The question is whether consumers care enough to do something about it.

According to soon-to-be-published Ctrl-Shift/GfK research they answer is ‘Yes’ – but not necessarily in a way that companies would notice. We found significant proportions of consumers (between…

A new social contract for personal data

Posted: 29th September, 2014 | 0 comments

This week marks the launch of Tim Berners-Lee’s new campaign for an internet ‘Magna Carta’. Speaking at the WebWeWant festival in London over the weekend, the ‘inventor of the web’ warned that the basic principles that originally defined the internet – such as being open and being free – are now being threatened by large corporations and governments who now see the internet as a potentially powerful weapon of control.

Exactly what this new Magna Carta should say is now being crowd-sourced through multiple consultations over the coming weeks and months.

Berners-Lee’s Magna Carta is not the only…

The worm turns on Personal Data

Posted: 22nd September, 2014 | 0 comments

Take a few snippets from this week’s news.

First, Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Open Letter on privacy. Here is what he said:

“Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.”

With this statement he’s creating clear…

The Respect Network launched in London this week and our CEO Liz Brandt was invited to explain the latest market development and opportunities of the personal information economy. At the celebratory event in London’s City Hall overlooking London Bridge, the Thames and the City of London, Liz shared the findings of our latest research. In our report, ‘Personal Information Management Services: An analysis of an emerging market’ we estimate the value of the market for PIMS to be £16.5bn.

Liz Brandt speaking at the Respect Network London launch in City Hall

At the Privacy by Design User Forum in Toronto, attending Founding Partners from the Respect Network, the world’s first peer-to-peer network for personal and business clouds, today named Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian as the network's first Honorary Architect.

The occasion was not only the conference, but also the release of a ground-breaking paper "Big Privacy: Bridging Big Data and the Personal Data Ecosystem through Privacy by Design" co-authored by Commissioner Cavoukian and Respect Network Corporation's CEO Drummond Reed. I had the honor of contributing to it from the Respect Network side as we took it from…

A few weeks ago I attended the Creative Commons global summit, as a member of the CC-UK affiliate team, and came away thinking about lessons for the growing personal data ecosystem. 

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation founded in 2003 to create and promote a set of alternative copyright licenses which allow creative works to be legally shared, remixed and built upon by others. Creators can communicate which rights they want to keep, and which they would like to waive. These licenses are now used in education, cultural archives, science, as well as in commercial contexts. By creating a…

An interview with DuckDuckGo

Posted: 19th July, 2013 | 0 comments

DuckDuckGo is search engine with a unique selling point that it puts users’ privacy first. The Prism scandal created concern among web users as to what information companies like Google collect about them and how this data is used. In the two weeks following the NSA story, DuckDuckGo saw its web queries surge by 90% - a sign of growing consumer awareness and concern about online tracking.

DuckDuckGo does not track users and or bias results to what they think users might like to see. Instead they offer an instant answer platform, developed with partners Wolfram…

An interview with PasswordBox

Posted: 1st July, 2013 | 0 comments

PasswordBox stores logins so users can access any of their online accounts instantly. The Canada-based service, which now has over 500,000 users, has recently announced that it is coming out of private beta. We spoke CEO Daniel Robichaud about what the service has to offer and what the future holds for PasswordBox.

1.What’s the big benefit your service is designed to offer?

The big benefit is we securely simplify your online life.

Efficiency: Save time with a 1-click login. No more usernames or passwords to type or remember.

Peace of Mind: Never forget another password –…

Privacy as a personal setting

Posted: 9th July, 2012 | 0 comments

At the recent World Economic Forum Tiger Team meeting in London I gave a short presentation on the commercial opportunities opened up by empowering individuals with data. (If you want a copy of the presentation, please get in touch).

I outlined four unfolding trends:

Information as a tool in the hands of the individual – a ‘phase change’ (as WEF’s William Hoffman put it) from the old status quo where information was almost exclusively a tool in the hands of the organisation.
Individuals as managers of their own data. This is driving the rise of new…

Google's slow-mo train crash

Posted: 10th April, 2012 | 0 comments

A fascinating letter to investors by Google CEO Larry Page. Here is a key passage:

“Understanding identity and relationships can also help us improve search. Today, most search results are generic, so two strangers sitting next to each other in a café will get very similar answers. Yet everyone’s life experiences are unique. We are all knowledgeable about different things; we have different interests and our preferences—for music, food, vacations, sports, movies, TV shows, and especially people—vary enormously.”

“Imagine how much better search would be if we added… you. Say you’ve been studying computer science for awhile like me,…

Another step towards the control shift

Posted: 24th February, 2012 | 0 comments

The US Government’s planned new Privacy Bill of Rights marks a decisive moment in the control shift. The first clause and sentence effectively makes the first half of the control shift ‘official’. They read:

1 INDIVIDUAL CONTROL:  Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it.

The only question now, is how far and how fast the control shift moves (the second, decisive, half being empowering individuals as managers of their own data).

One step forward …

Highly symbolic as it is however, the US Administration’s initiative is…

Big Data vs Small Data

Posted: 10th February, 2012 | 0 comments

In theory, there need not be a contradiction between Big Data and privacy. If you take a medical record, bank account or individual's mobile phone location data you can remove all personal identifiers (name, address, customer number, IP address, mobile phone identifier) so that all you have is a bundle of attributes which you can crunch together to identify patterns and trends *.

Having identified a pattern or profile you can then match it back to an individual's data, to place the person in a segment, to predict what they might do next, or perhaps offer them 'people like you'…

Phew! It has taken us six months but we got there in the end. Today (27 January), in the lead up to Data Protection Day (28th January) we’ve published new research assessing the privacy policies of the UK’s top 100 online retailers – the sector where many consumers most commonly experience the benefits and pitfalls of e-commerce.

We don’t think anyone has ever done this before and now we’ve got to the end, we’re not surprised. The project kicked off in the summer of 2011 when we started to think through an objective assessment of the state of the nation…

In this first issue of the year we highlight some of the proposals in the leaked draft of the European Data Protection legislation and we’ll give you a preview of our research looking at the privacy policies of UK online retailers. Also covered is our thinking as we debunk a few myths in a forthcoming series of blog posts ‘5 ways to misdirect resources in 2012’. In the market round-up we’re spoilt for choice but have picked out some of the key news.

EU law looks set to mandate electronic data handbacks

We are expecting to see the first draft…