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Databox appearing at the Decennial

17 June 2015

Short paper accepted to AARHUS’15!

Things are picking up – our short paper submission Personal Data: Thinking Inside the Box concerning the Databox, based on our arXiv paper. This puts forward some of our ideas and plans around the Databox, as well as some of the challenges we see in building and successfully deploying it.

The full abstract is:

We are in a ‘personal data gold rush’ driven by the dominance of advertising as the primary revenue source for most online companies. These companies accumulate extensive personal data about individuals with minimal consideration of us, the subjects of this process. This can cause many harms: privacy infringement, personal and professional embarrassment, restricted access to labour markets, restricted access to highest value pricing, and many others. There is a critical need to provide technical alternatives to current practice, to enable individuals to participate in the processes of collection, management and consumption of personal data, thereby returning means of control to them. In this paper we discuss the Databox, a personal networked device (and associated services) that collates and mediates access to personal data, allowing us to recover control of our online lives. Our hope is that the Databox is a first step towards re-balancing power between us who are the data subjects, and the corporations that collect, hold and use our data.

Really hoping I’ll be able to make it to Aarhus to see the presentation1 and take part in the discussion – the accepted papers mean it looks like it’ll be an exciting event!

  1. Unfortunately Aarhus collides precisely with SIGCOMM’15 :(

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