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___).


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