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Is the EC waking up to PIMS?

Posted on: Monday 30th of November 2015

A very interesting roundtable in Brussels last week organised by DG Connect, which is seeking views about PIMS (Personal Information Management Services) as “technological means to redress the challenges put to data privacy especially by the opportunities of Big data analytics”.

The EC is looking at ‘personal data locker’, ‘personal data cloud’ or ‘personal data store’ initiatives and ‘trust frameworks’ which enable individuals to “easily store, define access to, use of and in particular re-use their personal data relating to specific processing operations in one single place”.


International interest

The session included representatives from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland as well as the UK – a demonstration of growing international interest. One example: a Romanian government midata-style initiative to give citizens back their tax data.

Key questions on the agenda were: clarifying what PIMS are and what role the EC can and should play in the development of the PIMS market including what areas need researching if any.

The discussion was wide ranging, including the importance of midata-style initiatives to release data back to individuals, and legislation that supports the principle of individuals controlling their own data. Given that this was the EC’s first foray into this territory, there were no definite conclusions. But what is really important is that the EC has started considering the PIMS potential.


Huge potential

Looking forward PIMS are going to be one of the main ways individuals interact and do business with organisations. They will be a pivotal part of the answer to:

  • The problems the proposed European General Data Protection Regulations are trying to address
  • Companies’ search for new areas of innovation that add new consumer value and open up new revenue streams
  • Lower cost more personalised, joined-up public services
  • Improved customer experiences in both private and public sectors
  • The levels of trust a data driven economy needs to flourish

Given this potential it’s timely that the EC is now beginning to think through the implications and opportunities. More on this at our Growth Through Trust conference on December 8.