An inevitability of our more connected existence is that we all suffer from a certain loss of privacy.
More and more businesses now require you to share your personal data with them in order to use their services. Sometimes this information is required for operations but, all too often, the specifics about what data they are gathering is hidden away in the minutiae of the Terms and Conditions agreement. Unless you comb through every last detail, it can be hard to know exactly what you’re sharing, and with whom.
This is what HAT — short for the Hub of All Things — plans to solve with its cloud-based app. Developed as part of an extensive £1.2m research project from six UK universities into personal data privacy, it allows individuals to collate all of their data that is held by companies such as supermarkets, service providers and online platforms such as Google.
Users can visualise who holds what information about them using a hyperdata tool called Rumpel. Using this platform you can choose what data you wish to make accessible, or you can share certain data with third parties in exchange for discounts or more relevant offers.
Completely stopping the flow of data to private companies is almost impossible, but a platform that gives us a greater understanding of how much we are revealing to the services we use and how we can use it to benefit us is of undoubted value. For a digital relationship that has thus far been skewed badly in favour of corporations, this project could be a valuable step towards empowering consumers to guard their privacy more effectively.
HAT is currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo, with the digital footprint software being made available in the UK, the USA and several other countries worldwide from 1st July 2016.