How We Have Evolved with The Times

How We Have Evolved with The Times 1280 771 Claudia Velilla

As part of Wonk Bridge’s article on ‘Bringing the Power of Data Back to the People’, this second interview clip talks about how CitizenMe has evolved over the years, moving from giving individuals control of their T&Cs to enabling individuals to get insights from their online data.

The first version of the app was driven on the year past Snowden. It was riding on that wave of awareness and doing a lot of research with experts and wonks in the field. We started talking a lot more with journalists, civic society people, activist, and cyber security folks. We found that their attitudes were very much on the spectrum of ‘we have to allow people to lock down their data’, which was in reaction to Snowden happening the year before. 

So, we launched this app that was primarily about giving you control of your T&Cs, where you could see, for example, that Facebook had bad T&Cs around sharing data with applications. You could then tap on Facebook and go into your settings to switch off ‘sharing with applications’. 

But that wasn’t the only thing you could do in the app. You could, for instance, manage your social media profile and see how you look on Facebook according to your likes. We then started looking at monetization. We saw that about 5 to 10% of the population was really interested in locking down data but the remaining 95% of the population using this app was driven by this digital mirror that would show you how you look on the internet. This demonstrated the value of your data – what it means to you as an individual. It was a much more emotional drive with a lot more value.

This is just the second part of our story, so watch out for the next bit! And if you missed the first clip, check it out here

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