The design

There’s a lot of debate about how to design the new infrastructure.

Some say that there’s just a need for clever software on an individual’s personal device.

Others think that there’s a need for a new kind of service – a Personal Data Service (PDS) – provided by a company, much in the way a bank enables people to control the flow of digital money

There are pros and cons both ways. We think that

  • the right solution is probably a hybrid, perhaps allowing very sensitive data to be kept only on an individual’s personal device (and backed-up, once encrypted to cloud storage), but relying mainly on a service - a Personal Data Service (PDS) - provided by a company chosen by the individual as their agent
  • BUT the most important ingredient is trust: if an individual trusts the providers of the infrastructure, and that trust is well-founded, then storage location is secondary
  • thus, in our view, individuals should be able to choose a PDS from a managed market, and then use their new account to (i) link to, and communicate with, multiple counterparties, both organisations and other individuals; and (ii) control the flow of trustworthy personal data to and between such counterparties.
  • a likely flagship application is a portable personal achievement record, to be used by learners as a point in the cloud from which to interact with their learning provider (and other students), and then transition to their next learning provider, and into employment, sharing trustworthy qualification data at each step; and
  • other applications, necessary for a minimum viable product, are communications (to ensure frequent use), and payment (for reasons of business model.)

For more detail, see the various white papers on this site.

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