Items tagged "data"

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

Slowly but surely, personal data – how organisations collect it and use it – is becoming a brand issue. Whether its press articles highlighting practices which surprise and dismay consumers and citizens, or the pressure of forthcoming EU data protection legislation, organisations are realising that personal data can no longer be relegated as a ‘back office’ issue, something that works silently and invisibly in the background with no one, except a few dedicated experts, paying much attention to it.

Typical of the changing mood are these comments from Unilever’s global privacy officer Steve Wright.  Speaking at a recent conference he…

Sizing the Prize

Posted: 24th March, 2014 | 0 comments

Ctrl-Shift is undertaking a major new research project to identify the business and economic case for PIMS (Personal Information Management Services) that help individuals collect and manage information under their own control and use information (including personal information) to make better decisions and manage their lives better.

We're looking for case studies, data, and input from a wide range of sources including new services and existing brands (what are the opportunities? what are the threats? and where are do they impact the most?).

If you want to be at the front line of understanding how your business and market will be…

Driving privacy AND growth

Posted: 31st January, 2014 | 0 comments

As part of European Data Protection week the EU announced that it expects its draft new proposals for data protection to be passed by the European parliament in April.

Many are sceptical – the lobbying around these proposals has been so intense there’s bound to be more twists and turns along the way, they argue.

Surprisingly, however, there’s been very little scrutiny into the assumptions behind both the lobbying, both for and against the proposals. The biggest assumption, which seems to be accepted largely by both sides, is that we have to make a choice between privacy or innovation and…

Next Generation Intermediaries

Posted: 24th January, 2014 | 0 comments

One of the biggest unmet consumer needs in society today is ‘decision support’.

Every day, every individual – whether customer, consumer or citizen – makes multiple decisions about many complex things: managing our money, managing our home, our heath, career, leisure activities and so on. Few of us are experts in any of these things. So we find ourselves muddling along, making do, procrastinating, being frustrated by a lack of information or understanding of the options, getting anxious about making the wrong decisions, and so on.

Enter the new market for decision support services – one of the key drivers…

The Technology Strategy Board funded Smart Transport Internet of Things Data Ecosystem (Stride) project is opening up its new and ground breaking Internet of Things data set on BT’s Information Hub to developers from all walks of life – from students to software companies. The project team is holding a developer contest which runs until Sunday March 9.

Developers are invited to use the data on the Stride Developer’s Portal plus any other Open Data, to develop innovative and compelling transport applications. There is a winning cash prize of £750 and a runner-up cash prize of £250. In addition, the…

We are delighted to announce our inaugural Personal Information Economy 2014 event – your fast track opportunity to gain insight into what’s happening in the personal information economy. The event takes place on March 20 2014 at Glaziers Hall in Central London and early bird ticket sales are open today.

We have a growing list of world class speakers lined up. Our confirmed keynote speakers are:

Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Chair, Open Data Institute;
Sir Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner, ICO; and
Colin Strong, Managing…

Merry Christmas from Ctrl-Shift

Posted: 20th December, 2013 | 0 comments

We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays from everybody at Ctrl-Shift. It’s been an exciting year for us and there’s been a real change in the air across the Personal Information Economy. This year we have seen personal data become a growing priority for businesses and consumers alike.

In 2013 the growing market for personal data empowerment saw key business developments, changing consumer attitudes, technological innovations and legal and regulatory developments. High profile organisations and some leading blue chip brands promoted privacy and data transparency for consumers. There was growing controversy over the way some companies and governments gather, share…

A new Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) research report on the Internet of Things (IoT) finds that this rapidly growing market is “reaching a tipping point” in terms of global business interest. However, this optimism is not yet matched by investment. The Internet of Things is the name given to the interconnected network of ‘smart’ devices embedded in objects generating and sharing useful data and information.

Ctrl-Shift’s CEO Liz Brandt, who was interviewed for the report along with BT, Bosch, Belkin, Honda and GE, highlights one of the reasons for this lack of current investment – many businesses are still…

One step forward ...

Posted: 20th September, 2013 | 0 comments

Just back from the Digital Enlightenment Forum in Brussels where Ctrl-Shift were one of the plenary speakers.

A number of impressive people were there including Tim Berners Lee, Kim Cameron (of  ‘laws of identity’ fame), Robert Madeline (Director General of DG Connect of the European Commission), Peter Hustinx (the European Data Protection Supervisor) and Wlliam Hoffman (World Economic Forum).

What a difference a year makes! At one level, the Snowden revelations seem to have transformed the personal data landscape forever, raising big doubts about the trustworthiness of many Silicon Valley giants.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale,…

miiCard, which provides online identity verification services, has made a series of announcements over the last few weeks. Businesses and people are signing up for their user-centric identity service which uses the power of volunteered information to create breakthrough efficiencies and value for all parties.

We heard their news from CEO James Varga at a recent miiCard investor event. They are seeking investment to grow the business internationally. Ctrl-Shift’s Alan Mitchell was invited to provide an independent analysis of the evolving identity market and while we were there we caught up with James to ask him about the event…

From Monday 16 September UK banks will offer their customers a guaranteed ability to switch current accounts in a simple, reliable, hassle free way.  The product of two years’ work by the payment industry’s regulator the Payments Council, there are high hopes the new switching guarantee will force banks to be more competitive and improve their customer service.

This comment from Metro Bank chief executive Craig Donaldson is typical. “At the moment far too many consumers put up with poor service from their bank simply because they believe switching to be too complicated,” he says. “Increased competition forces…

The World Economic Forum’s Rethinking Personal Data Initiative has reached its third stage. The programme has already defined the value of personal data as an asset class and reinforced the value of trusted data flow. The third stage will bring together data experts with practitioners in different commercial environments so that together they can drive results that are practical, implementable, and can be widely communicated.

Ctrl-Shift has been working closely with WEF on the programme as is a contributor and key member of their international ‘Tiger Team’. This team is looking at how to create and implement the…

Following the launch of the midata Innovation Lab (mIL) we spoke with Dan Bates, mIL Director, about the next phase for the lab, the innovation we can look forward to, and how businesses and individuals can get involved.

What's next post launch of the mIL?

The launch is of course just the start. The objective now is to help materially move the personal data debate forward in the UK, via practical activity with the different stakeholders. We have set up a number of  different learning streams of activity to cover the different angles - including development and consumer…

Ctrl-Shift is working on a ground breaking Technology Strategy Board funded project called Stride which, over the last few months, has created, and aims to sustain, a thriving Internet of Things 'cluster' for smart transport. Initially focused on the East of England, the 'cluster' brings together Internet of Things technology (BT's Information Hub) and novel services/apps to enable the trusted sharing of data between things, people and organisations. The aim is to create new value, efficiencies and improvements in the use of our road infrastructure.
Critical to establishing and maintaining the 'cluster' is collaboration with all the stakeholders involved.…

There’s a huge amount going on in the world of Open Data. There’s a huge amount going on in the world of personal data. What happens when these two worlds meet?

Answer: a veritable value explosion, as our new paper When Open Data meets Personal Data shows.

There’s something really special about this value explosion.

Big Data – the world of large volume data sets, statistics, correlations, patterns and trends – has huge potential in its own right. But it also has its limitations. Knowing where every bus or tube is, right now, on the London transport system is…

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has officially announced the opening of the midata Innovation Lab (mIL) today. Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said:

“Today’s most successful businesses are the ones that are creative about building customer relationships. The new ’midata’ Lab is an exciting opportunity to put this to the test and explore how businesses could help customers use the data around their spending habits to make better choices.

“There is a lot to be gained from being open and using the information gathered on customers with their knowledge. Developing new and innovative ways to see data also…

One transformational feature of the emerging personal data landscape is individuals becoming magnets of their own data. Instead of each individual’s data being dispersed across hundreds of different organisations, each of which builds its own, different profile of that individual, individuals use services like personal data stores to aggregate and integrate data about themselves.

Initiatives like midata in the UK and the Blue and Green Button programmes in the US contribute indirectly towards this trend by encouraging organisations to release data they hold on individuals back to them.

Now US personal data store has opened up a new…

A few months ago we discussed The Flip – organisations turning their knowledge, expertise and information into a customer service.  A new app launched in Australia that allows McDonald’s customers to track the ingredients in their burgers shows one example of The Flip in action.

‘Track My Macca’s is a transparency tool that informs consumers about where McDonald’s sources ingredients for the food they are eating. By scanning QR codes on the side of Big Mac and other boxes, consumers can follow the journey of their meal’s ingredients and see videos about the farmers, bakers and fisherman that…

The Council of the European Union has released a draft compromise text for proposed new Data Protection regulations which, in its own admission, are ‘surprising’.

The compromise text “tempers many of the European Commission’s original proposals that had been the subject of some of the most vociferous debate”.

In doing so however, the new proposals seem certain to make the debate even more vociferous.

One of the Council's proposed compromises softens the requirement for individuals giving consent to data collection and use from ‘explicit’ to ‘unambiguous’. It also softens the requirement of ‘proof’ of consent to being able ‘demonstrate’…

To see just how vicious the privacy battle between Microsoft and Google is getting, take a look at Microsoft’s parody of Google’s latest ad campaign. It’s one minute of extraordinary content.

Of course Microsoft has its own commercial agenda. For example, it's desperate to persuade consumers to switch their default search engine from Google to Bing. But that’s the point. The issue of ‘privacy’ and personal data is no longer about some individuals’ sensitivity or squeamishness, abstract moral debates or arcane policy wrangles. It’s moving on. It’s now about money – big money – as brands realise that the…

We have created a short, nifty video which explains the Stride (Smart Transport Internet of Things Data Ecosystem) project that Ctrl-Shift has started working on with Cambridge University, Dartt, Aimes Grid Services and project lead BT. The video covers Stride’s aims, what the consortium expects to achieve over the next year, and the value and opportunity for businesses from participating.

Funded by the Technology Strategy Board, Stride is one of eight Internet of Things clusters that will be developed and launched over the next year representing a Government investment of £6.2 million to spur innovation in this exciting and…

Ctrl-Shift is kicking off a groundbreaking year long project helping to shape and develop the UK Internet of Things market. It will be a voyage of discovery where we will apply our expertise in how to catalyse data led value opportunities for businesses.

We are part of a winning consortium announced by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the UK’s innovation agency, that will create and deliver an Internet of Things ‘cluster’. TSB is investing £6.2 million in eight of these ‘clusters’ across the UK with the aim of ensuring the country is at the forefront of the new and burgeoning…

Midata legislation – almost there

Posted: 22nd March, 2013 | 0 comments

Legislation to enforce midata – consumers’ right to request an electronic copy of data held by the company – is all but complete. With one final reading of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill planned for the House of Commons on April 16, the provisions look pretty much certain to receive Royal Assent soon after Easter.

In its current form, the Bill doesn’t directly provide consumers with the right to demand their data. Instead, it gives Ministers powers to make regulations some time in the future if they decide that voluntary progress towards data release isn’t proceeding at a fast…

As part of its Rethinking Personal Data project the World Economic Forum has just published its latest paper Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage.

One of the key passages reads as follows:

From passive consent to engaged individuals
“Organizations (the operations of which depend on a relationship of positive engagement with their customers) need to understand and accommodate the changing role of the individual by engaging with and empowering them. The individual was historically seen as a “data subject” – a passive consumer of products and services who was tracked for customer relationship management…

Open Data and open data use

Posted: 22nd February, 2013 | 0 comments

As Open Data Day is showing the principles of Open Data are gaining ever broader acceptance, along with fast developing practices and practical applications. The potential benefits are huge. Ctrl-Shift is researching a White Paper on what happens when Open Data meets personal data right now.

But while society is making progress on one front, we could be losing ground on others. Two dangers stand out.

Faux openness

Faux openness is the trick of making things harder to find by hiding them ‘in plain sight’. The classic example of faux openness is small print. It’s there for everybody to…

To get a glimpse of the future of consumer empowering services take a look at MoneySavingExpert’s new initiative the Cheap Energy Club – a price comparison service that not only compares prices but understands the behaviours and attitudes that stop us doing stuff we know we should.

Make it easy for me!

Instead of enabling one comparison (and perhaps one switch) Cheap Energy Club keeps on comparing your tariff against the market, month by month, so that you know when you are getting out of kilter and need to do something about it.

It’s also designed to address the…

Time to scrap 'informed consent'

Posted: 28th January, 2013 | 0 comments

As another International Privacy Day comes round again it’s time to question something at the heart of European privacy legislation – the notion of ‘informed consent’.

Good intentions

‘Informed consent’ was created with the best of intentions. But in its current form it is an obstacle to progress. It needs replacing.

The underlying goal is admirable enough: personal data is the person’s (not the organisation’s) and individuals should have the right to know what information an organisation is collecting about them and what the organisation is going to do with it. They should also have a right to give…

midata legislation begins

Posted: 11th January, 2013 | 0 comments

Last night the Government lodged an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulator Reform Bill in the House of Lords to give the midata programme legislative backing. The amendment enables the Secretary of State to make regulations to companies to provide to their customers (upon request) their personal historic transaction and/or consumption data in an electronic format.

At one level, the practical implications of this move are quite limited. Only a few sectors are directly involved (energy, mobile phone, current account and credit card suppliers) and most of them have been involved in the voluntary side of the midata programme…

When we researched the changing personal data landscape a year ago we identified two underlying trends.

Historically, organisations have acted as the data manager and user. But now individuals are becoming managers of their own data and using information as a tool in their own hands. These trends are creating a hotspot of innovation – aspects of which include midata data releases to individuals, personal data stores and PIMS (information management services that help individuals make better decisions and manage their lives better).

These trends are creating a dilemma for organisations. On the one hand, far-sighted…

Cloud and data services in 2013

Posted: 19th December, 2012 | 0 comments

Cloud technologies underpin much of the new information services ecosystem. The ‘Internet of Things’ and self-quantification services rely on cloud based storage, computing power and platforms. Open data initiatives are now feasible because of cost-effective cloud infrastructure. And ‘as a service’ platforms in the data market, including Personal Clouds and Information Logistics Platforms are the ultimate fruition of multiple cloud-based components.

Given the centrality of cloud technologies to so many new information driven services, industry predictions for the growth of the cloud market are a key indicator for how the market for information services will evolve. This…

Fascinating couple of days at Sibos leading up to and after our presentation of our research into the business potential of SWIFT Innotribe’s proposed new Digital Asset Grid.

You can see our White Paper on information logistics and why it’s important here, and all the core presentation material here and here.

Two (opposite) sets of responses from people. Some don’t get it. When we talk about enabling information sharing, they think we are trying to solve a problem that’s already been solved. ‘Why do we need this when we’ve Facebook, gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn etc’. As yet, they don't…

A red letter day for data

Posted: 23rd October, 2012 | 0 comments

Today is a red letter day for data. BT has today announced a global information logistics service. The potential impact on the data market is transformational. It is one of the first information logistics platforms in the world delivering enhanced productivity, improved customer service and operational efficiencies through enabling multiple streams of near real time and static data to flow between businesses. It is an especially exciting development for Ctrl-Shift because of our involvement at the innovation, vision and definition phase. Through our bespoke research Ctrl-Shift helped to define the scope and value chain, size the information logistics market and assess…

Our work for Innotribe, the innovation initiative of SWIFT (the global financial messaging service) is coming to fruition and we are delighted it will soon be made public. Over the last six months we have been part of an international team of experts working on an R&D project backed by the SWIFT Innotribe Incubation fund to develop a ‘Digital Asset Grid’.

The Digital Asset Grid is a new infrastructure for banks to provide a platform for secure peer to peer data sharing between trusted people, businesses, and devices. It’s a revolutionary idea and potentially game changing for the banking sector enabling…

The value in Internet Of Things

Posted: 13th March, 2012 | 0 comments

The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution is already underway and machines are ‘talking’ to each other. Buildings, transport infrastructure, cars, healthcare equipment, industrial resources, mobile devices and even consumer goods are able to communicate, sense, analyse and produce useful information with the potential to completely transform how we live, work, travel and manage our lives. Growth estimates vary but according to Ericsson* there are 100 to 200 million connections today, growing to 1 billion over five years.

However, at the moment the full economic potential of the Internet of Things or the Machine to Machine (M2M) market is thwarted by lack…