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Personal Data Stores: trust, confidence and convenience

Posted on: Friday 13th of June 2014

The market for personal data management services is growing rapidly with more than one new launch a week over the last year. These services – that help individuals assert more control over how their data is collected and used – also offer organisations the chance to build trust, cut the costs of data collection and management and, over time, to access more, richer data from customers.

Our recent report, Mapping the Market for Personal Data Management, highlights the main service components being offered and showcases examples of companies working in different areas. The report enables organisations to get an idea of the emerging market, the opportunities and possible threats.  One example featured is PAOGA, a UK based personal cloud service provider which helps individuals integrate and securely store their personal data, allowing them to choose to share their information with trusted organisations.

PAOGA are the UK Cloud Service Providers for the Respect Network, a Trust Framework provider which launches globally later this month. The launch will take place across five cities and our CEO Liz Brandt will be a guest speaker at the events in London and San Francisco. She will be sharing findings from our upcoming ground breaking research into the economic and business impacts of Personal Information Management Services.

We spoke to the founder and CEO of PAOGA, Graham Sadd, about the market for Personal Clouds and their role in the growing personal information economy.

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

PAOGA is all about Trust, Confidence & Convenience.

For organisations, PAOGA provides access to up-to-date, verified and accurate information about their customers (with their consent, as client, consumer, citizen, or employee), and confidential data/document exchange (including digital signatures) thereby reducing cost, time, and compliance risks for the businesses.

For individuals, PAOGA’s cloud software ensures privacy and confidentiality for personal identity and information, web login (passwords/tokens), data files (e.g. finance, legal, property, qualifications and employment records) and contacts by keeping each in individual, secure, uniquely encrypted digital ‘Safe Deposit Boxes’ – all in one, secure place.

2. What inspired/motivated your business?

I have always looked to address the enormous, unnecessary and costly waste in the way our society works. For example, the repetitive tasks which take time and are prone to error which can be automated, and the finite resources that we squander which are becoming more expensive.

PAOGA was formed to specifically address this issue – allowing the individual to control the information flow and to protect their personal information was key.

Social Networks and email are fine for many things BUT, as the media constantly reports, not for communications and documents which are confidential to your business and/or private and personal to you. We believe that individuals and companies need a secure alternative for those communications and interactions that are private or confidential – an AntiSocial Network like PAOGA.

3. What is the business model? How will you earn your keep?

The global market is realising that the ‘cost of free’ is that individuals are the product. As an individual your personal information, likes and dislikes have value but individuals are not seeing much of this value themselves.

The benefits to organisations that embrace Personal Clouds are considerable. By relying on information which is given voluntarily by the individual to companies, governments and other people that they trust, they receive data that is more accurate and also more comprehensive. Organisations are just beginning to recognise both the inevitability of this change and the benefits to their costs, time, compliance and reputation.

We will licence PAOGA Personal Clouds, on a per user basis, to organisations to provide their customers, employees and suppliers with a channel for communications and interactions. Astute businesses can share some of the savings in the form of discounts in the same way that they do with paperless bills and direct debit payments today.

There are a number of optional services within PAOGA. Some rely on Trusted Third Party providers. These include ID Assurance, Document Verification, Digital Signing, SMS alerts, Data Storage, Encryption, Payment Processing, and Event Time Stamping. As PAOGA has no access to any users’ data, by design, our revenue will be generated by the use of these services as and when appropriate.

4. Where would you like to be in 3-5 years’ time?

I would like to think that PAOGA, along with others, will have empowered individuals and facilitated the much needed reduction of unnecessary cost, time and talent that, through bureaucracy and  red-tape, is strangling government departments, organisations and SMEs.

What obstacles will you need to overcome to get there?

There are the usual obstacles:

  • Financial pump-priming (let’s not innovate in the UK and leave the US to market it!).
  • The ability to attract, motivate and reward a world class team to continue to develop and deliver.
  • Overcoming legacy systems (defended by legacy management).
  • Convincing the market that PAOGA is trustworthy.

5. What is your involvement with the Respect Network?

As a Founding Partner of the Respect Network we endorse and comply with the Respect Network Trust Framework.

There are a number of benefits to PAOGA of being a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) and participating in this global group:

  • A clear and consistent message to businesses and individuals about the value of data controlled by the data owner.
  • Quality control to certify that members properly respect the privacy and confidentiality of their business and individual’s data.
  • Portability of Cloud Name and data between member CSPs to ensure that data owners are not ‘locked in’.

The potential of this emerging global market is substantial and cooperation at this point will strengthen the marketing messages and education for the mutual benefit of all partners. Of course, as the market matures, there will be an element of competition between CSPs who have or will develop USPs for product differentiation. That will be good for the market and a challenge we look forward to.