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Personal Data Stores

Published: 30/04/12

Price: £1,495.00+VAT. Free for corporate subscribers.

This report presents the results of our wide scale review of the Personal Data Store (PDS) market. Findings are based on in-depth interviews with services and organisations as well as comprehensive desk research.

The PDS is a potentially disruptive innovation. It could up-end the way organisations collect and use personal data, and the commercial models driving these activities. However, there is a long way to go before this promise/threat is realised.

Personal data stores help individuals gather, store, manage, use and share their own data under their own control. The data may be structured or unstructured; text, images, sound or video. It may have many different uses: admin data and contacts; or records of transactions and interactions, bookmarks, clickstream data, bills and statements; or more personal information such as profiles, plans and projects, preferences.

PDSs may focus on particular area such as 'my health' or 'my education records'; they may specialise in particular functions such as 'managing my online presence' or 'the administrative details of my life', or they may offer a general personal data management service.

They may store the data in one particular location, or operate in a federated way acting as a hub connecting data from many different sources.

While the features and functions of a Personal Data Store are fairly universally accepted, as with every new market there is much terminological uncertainty and confusion. For example, the same basic service offers are variously described as a Personal Data Store, Personal Data Vault, Personal Data Locker, Personal Data Cloud or Personal Data Service. Each description has its nuances. There are good arguments for adoption of any of these terms. However, for consistency we will continue to refer to a market of Personal Data Stores that encompasses the whole range of solutions from local storage solutions to a federated peer-to-peer personal data network.

Start-up companies, backed by personal or venture capital, currently dominate the market. Key players in the rapidly emerging market for personal data stores include Azigo, Glome, Mydex, MyInfosafe, Paoga, Personal, the Personal Information Brokerage (PIB), Pidder, Privowny, Qiy and Singly.

While overall investment levels are modest, many services are currently engaged in new rounds of fund raising with a flurry of activity planned for the rest of 2012. Investments for individual services range from under US$1 million to over US$8 million.

Outside of the start-ups there is some, but limited, activity from large corporations. AT&T, O2 (Telefonica) and Microsoft are among those who have expressed interest in or are developing some form of personal data service. However, details of the exact nature of the services are still unclear and do not seem torepresent the pure PDS models being set up by the start-up companies.

This report looks at how these companies are approaching the market opportunity and provides a market forecast for 2016.