All kinds of services are collecting our data to turn them into profit. The result: We are now the product rather than the customer. Researchers call this new way of exploitation Surveillance Capitalism.
Here’s the good news: We can fix this!
To achieve this, we need Decentralised Personal Data Storage. This means that we will store our personal data on our own devices and can decide for ourselves who is allowed to access the data and for what purpose.
Gone are the days in which we had to trust organisations not to do bad things with our data – instead, we regain control.
We will fix digital privacy for everyone and make personal data useful for society.
We want to create an organisation that will do what we as users or initiatives cannot do individually. In this forum, we develop ideas and communicate with other organisations and projects that can contribute to the overarching goal of fixing digital privacy for everyone.
We aim to build strong alliances with key civil society actors, such as:
- initiatives working on decentralised data storage, who can help us find a common (technical) ground for the proposed personal data ecosystem. Many such initiatives already exist and have paved the way, but it is important to be inclusive of many solutions to enable broad application and dissemination.
- Software projects, which can help us to bring our technological solution to society and to each user in the form of applications and services.
- (Environmental) NGOs that can help us achieve the impact we are aiming for – acting as auditors to ensure that only those in support of our mission get access to anonymised data.
Together we want to create a new organisation that will act as a trustee for users.
This new organisation will establish a space to provide controlled access to users’ personal data, while ensuring privacy and control. We believe that personal data is the engine of innovation and that democratic access to it will help the whole of society to progress.
That’s why our organisation’s tasks will include:
- Enabling governance of service providers and their software and audit compliance.
- Enabling anonymised surveys to allow innovation and research: To gain access to the survey service, the issuer must comply with our terms and conditions.
- Providing certificates indicating compliance with our standards. (Think of it like the labels that show that some food has been grown organically.)
*Providing and maintaining the necessary technical infrastructure.
- But: The organisation will never store personal data itself, except to temporarily generate statistics for the surveys if no other sensible way can be found.
We believe that privacy is fundamental to a free society – and even more important in societies that are not free. Digital privacy in particular is defined by transparency and control over what data is created and how it can be used by whom. Privact wants to enable digital privacy for everyone without requiring technical knowledge.
Users that are in control of their own data are more likely to provide data voluntarily, with the data itself being more reliable, complete and comprehensive. Services can then use use this high-quality data to improve their services. This enables entirely new business models that truly benefit the individual.
privact also has another goal: We bring transparency about organisations. Organisations interested in high-quality user data will be able to apply for privacy-compliant access by demonstrating transparency themselves. This transparency in itself is a great gain for society. By linking this transparency to our donation system, we provide an additional strong incentive for organisations to improve their behaviour. The first step will be CO2 transparency.
Innovation and research depend heavily on the availability of large and high-quality datasets. We will create the largest pool of high-quality user data available. We will give researchers, initiatives, journalists, start-ups – anyone who respects privacy – equal access and opportunity to innovate with this data.
We will get there together as a citizens’ movement. This is the place to develop ideas, build alliances and revolutionise the way we use personal data – for a free and private society.
We look forward to welcoming you!