be yourself unlock power of data

3 reasons why the “G.D..thingy” will help you be yourself

Be yourself. It is the law! What we are excited about is the EU council has just passed the GDPR. “G…D… what!?” I hear you say. Think of it as a super charged Data Protection Act, which gives you super powers in the digital economy.

Why should I care?

Every time you go online you leave a digital footprint. That footprint creates data. The websites you visit, your social media activity all leave data trails. And that data is “harvested” by data companies. They repackage and resell your data to businesses, who use it to sell you more stuff. A lot of you reading this will have already taken some form of action. Over 200 million people have installed ad-blockers. Most of you are wary of how companies use your data. A lot of you will be frustrated with adverts following you around the internet like an over familiar sleazy stalker.

The fact that taking control means destroying or locking down your data is a huge shame. Data has value. And “value” means many different things. Your data has monetary value. Your data can help you better understand your online behaviours. It can help you make better or more informed decisions when you buy things. Instead of your data being something that is used to “nudge” you or “persuade” you into liking or buying something, you can use it for your own benefit.

Well now the new G…D… (thingy) puts you back in control. Stay with us for a couple more minutes and we’ll show you how.

  1. Opt in. Hurray! All those annoying double negative tick boxes that opt you into receiving a load of spam will be a lot more straight forward. The wording will have to be clear and you have to tick the box to receive whatever crap they are offering. Finally!
  2. Consent. Businesses will have to ask for your permission to use you data for every specific purpose. Right now, companies you have never heard of are collecting your data without purpose. They re-sell this information to other companies you’ve never heard of which then bombard you with boring adverts or clog up your mailbox. This blanket collection of your data will be outlawed. There will have to be a reason for collecting your data. And you will have to explicitly consent to it. Happy days!
  3. Data portability. What this means is that you are entitled to a copy of your data held by an organisation. They will have to give you a copy of this in a convenient digital format that you can use elsewhere. You will then be able to quantify your digital behaviours form all areas of you life. It will reveal new insights about you, enable you to get better deals on things you buy and streamline your life better.

This all sounds a bit difficult!

Don’t worry. There are a load of new companies starting up which will act on your behalf. They’ll help you do all sorts of amazing things with your data. Stuff you consent to and adds value to your life.

citizenme is one of those companies. This year we’ll help you earn money from sharing your data anonymously for research purposes. More excitingly we’ll help you discover what your data says about you. Am I in the right job? What are my neighbours like? How do I come across on social networks? We’ll shed some light on these questions.

Interested then join our movement by following us on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram) or sign up below to be informed about when we launch.

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Image credit: Octavio Fossatti

Ryan Garner

Ryan has provided insights to global brands, helping shape products and services around real customer needs. He has spent the past 3 years helping businesses think about the opportunities in the personal information economy. He now brings this experience to CitizenMe. As much as Ryan loves technology, he likes to escape by growing fruit and veg on an allotment with his kids. And if you have not already heard, Ryan is a very smug Leicester City supporter right now!

All stories by: Ryan Garner

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