The Future of Social Is Personal: The Potential of the Personal Data Store

  • Max Van Kleek
  • Kieron OHara
Part of the Computational Social Sciences book series (CSS)


This chapter argues that technical architectures that facilitate the longitudinal, decentralised and individual-centric personal collection and curation of data will be an important, but partial, response to the pressing problem of the autonomy of the data subject, and the asymmetry of power between the subject and large scale service providers/data consumers. Towards framing the scope and role of such Personal Data Stores (PDSes), the legalistic notion of personal data is examined, and it is argued that a more inclusive, intuitive notion expresses more accurately what individuals require in order to preserve their autonomy in a data-driven world of large aggregators. Six challenges towards realising the PDS vision are set out: the requirement to store data for long periods; the difficulties of managing data for individuals; the need to reconsider the regulatory basis for third-party access to data; the need to comply with international data handling standards; the need to integrate privacy-enhancing technologies; and the need to future-proof data gathering against the evolution of social norms. The open experimental PDS platform INDX is introduced and described, as a means of beginning to address at least some of these six challenges.


Personal Information Personal Data Data Protection Data Security Data Subject 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The work described in this chapter is supported through an interdisciplinary ESPRC Research Grant EP/J017728/1, The Theory and Practice of Social Machines. The design and development of the INDX platform has benefitted from contributions from SOCIAM researchers, including Daniel Alexander Smith, Laura Dragăn, Markus Lucsak-Roesch, Ramine Tinati, and Dave Murray-Rust, and with direction and advising from Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and Dame Wendy Hall.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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