Bring on the Databox

Last week we release a open access preprint of our first paper on the Databox on arXiv, titled “Personal Data: Thinking Inside the Box“. Despite not publishing in a peer reviewed venue, the response has been greater than we expect. Most notability we were featured in the Guardian, a British newspaper known for its pro-privacy and anti-government surveillance views and well as the MIT Technology Review and Treasury Insider.

Time to start thinking inside the box? Image By Husky [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the paper, we propose there is a need for a technical platform enabling people to engage with the collection, management and consumption of personal data; and that this platform should itself be personal, under the direct control of the individual whose data it holds. Our solution is the the Databox, a personal, networked service that collates personal data and can be used to make those data available.

The paper is an accessible read and does not cover any technical details, instead its a brief overview of the problem space and its challenges. We are currently preparing the paper for submission so your thoughts and ideas are more welcome than ever.

A huge thanks to my amazing co-authors Hamed Haddadi (@realhamed), Amir Chaudhry (@amirmc), Jon Crowcroft (@tforcworc), Anil Madhavapeddy (@avsm) and Richard Mortier (@mort___).

 

Personal Data: Thinking Inside the Box

Our first paper on the Databox, a personal, networked service that collates personal data and can be used to make those data available is now available (open access) on arXiv. Enjoying reading it and let me know what you think.

Title: Personal Data: Thinking Inside the Box
Authors: Hamed Haddadi, Heidi Howard, Amir Chaudhry, Jon Crowcroft, Anil Madhavapeddy, Richard Mortier
Abstract:
We propose there is a need for a technical platform enabling people to engage with the collection, management and consumption of personal data; and that this platform should itself be personal, under the direct control of the individual whose data it holds. In what follows, we refer to this platform as the Databox, a personal, networked service that collates personal data and can be used to make those data available. While your Databox is likely to be a virtual platform, in that it will involve multiple devices and services, at least one instance of it will exist in physical form such as on a physical form-factor computing device with associated storage and networking, such as a home hub.