FEATURE30 May 2023

A private life: What does the public think of personal data stores?

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Data privacy is one of the major issues of the modern age. Research from the BBC has explored how personal data stores could be used to give people back control.

photo of woman on her smart phone having her face scanned

Everything you do, type, see, buy, watch or listen to online creates data. Despite its importance to organisations worldwide, it is widely believed that, in this hi-tech age we, as humans, have limited control over the data we create.

But what if you had a tool that allowed you to decide who has access to your information and gave you ownership over your personal details, even down to your consumer spending patterns or carbon footprint?

A personal data store (PDS) is an attempt to rectify the lack of data privacy online. It is a fledgling idea for a service that allows an individual to store, manage and use their personal data in a highly secure and structured way, as well as controlling who can access that information. This could mean sharing details with a mortgage provider for the duration of a mortgage application, for example, and then choosing to remove access later. It could also include analysing – and even ...