“If I can use your data, you can too… however you please.” The MesInfos project on Self Data.
Fing is a French non-profit organization, which focus on digital uses and digital transformations. We are both a think tank & a do-tank. We intend to produce new and actionable ideas, for public & private sectors, non profit, innovators, researchers…
For several years, Fing has been exploring the issue of trust. The main learning of these studies is that there is a deep trust crisis between the individuals and the organizations. And the way Digital economy is evolving is worsening this crisis: big organizations are collecting more and more data, processing them thanks to powerful tools, while their customers derive no value from this situation.
In 2012, we decided to launch the MesInfos project, based on the idea that the value of personal data should be shared between the organizations and their customers.
We gathered public and private partners to explore what we call Self Data: the ability for the individuals to collect, store, understand, use their personal data and share it with some third-party players – if they are willing to – under their complete control. We convinced them to hand back personal data to their customers, during the 8-months experiment we led in 2013.
2013-2014: a first experiment
300 testers received their personal data (bank, telco, insurance, retail data…) from 6 big companies. Each one could store this data on his/her own data platform (provided by a French personal cloud startup, CozyCloud); he/she could also use his/her own data thanks to 15 third-party services, prototyped by startups, developers, designers, students… (+50 concepts were also scenarized during these 8 months). For instance, one service enable them to get their weekly/monthly CO2 emissions based on their food consumption. Another one was a smart Personal Finance Manager, while a third one enabled users to get a monthly personal report based on fun facts drawn from their data…
“What the heck can you do with your data?”
We learnt a lot from this experiment! One of the main findings is that giving back personal data does play a part in rebuilding relationships based on trust between organizations and their customers. We started to explore the use value of personal data for individuals, but this is just a beginning. This value can probably be huge. For organizations, handing back personal data is a wide, big, long-term project: Information Systems are not built to share data with the customers, and it’s probably going to take time. But this is precisely the main interest of taking part in this kind of experiment: it’s the best way to gain an advance for all players.
2016, a new step: MesInfos Pilote
That’s why in 2016, we decided to do it again, but for real this time (we call it MesInfos pilote): with more organizations, more testers. more services… and with no time limit! One of the main goals of this pilote is to give birth to new uses/services, new business models, new relationships. In november 2016 a first group of “early adopters” will have access to their personal data (telco, insurance, energy, bank data…) and be able to use it through their own platform (for now Cozy, but we hope other platforms will join in 2017). A second “batch” will get theirs in February, 2017. A whole team of researchers will participate in this pilot. And of course, we’re sharing insights, learnings and experiences with similar projects over Europe. We hope to learn a lot but also to start a long-term dynamic, creating a world in which individuals will be able to access and use their data however it pleases them!
The pilote is still open to whoever is interested, as long as players (big companies, public actors, startups, data platforms….) agree with the Self Data principles in our Charter (it’s our next post!). The Mydata 2016 event will be the perfect opportunity for all of us to discuss how to collaborate on this opportunity!