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Launch of first personal data store “significant” for brands, consumers and VRM

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13th Oct 2010
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Will the first service to give individuals back control over their personal data introduce a step change in the relationship between companies and customers?

The launch of the first personal data store for consumers will have “significant and wide-ranging” implications for marketers, brands and their customers, according to experts.

The Mydex Community Prototype, launched with trial partners this week, has been described as the first service to give individuals back control over their personal data, introducing a step change in the relationship between individuals and the organisations they deal with.
Devised by Mydex Community Interest Company, the service provides individuals with the tools to enable them to store and manage their personal details, to have them externally verified, and, at their discretion, to share them with external organisations.
This could have major implications for both brands and their customers – providing individuals with greater convenience, more control, richer more complete data, and allowing better decision-making, while providing businesses and public services with the opportunity to reduce costs and create value by improving their ability to offer relevant, personalised services.
Participants trialling the service include the Department for Work and Pensions, London Borough of Brent, London Borough of Croydon, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and the social network Netmums.
"To provide efficient, effective services that citizens trust, we need to get the right information to and from the right people at the right time," said Lyn McDonald, Tell Us Once Programme Director, Department of Work and Pensions. "The Personal Data Store service developed by Mydex offers an innovative way to rise to this challenge. It's the start of something very valuable with long-term positive outcomes for all concerned."
Chris Combemale, executive director of the Direct Marketing Association, agreed that the service could be of major significance. "Mydex’s personal data store has the potential to have significant and wide-ranging implications for businesses and their customers," he said. "Both consumers and marketers stand to benefit from this initiative by enabling well-targeted marketing that’s tailored to the consumer’s stated preferences, permissions and circumstances. Personal data stores will help consumers have trust, confidence and control when sharing personal data with companies."
Politically, the desire to restore control over personal data to the individual is clearly stated in both Conservative and Labour Party 2010 election manifestos. Reasons include the need to save money, a desire to offer more efficient but also user-driven or personalised services, and the need to restore civil liberties and end the drift towards a centralised ‘database state’. Commercially, Mydex believes that personal data stores can unlock immense entrepreneurial potential for new services driven by and based on individuals’ stated preferences, permissions and circumstances.
The project has been hailed as a major step towards ‘vendor relationship management’.
"Restoring control over personal data to the individual makes sense whichever way you look at it: technically, legally, ethically, and in terms of cost, effectiveness and plain common sense. A huge amount of technical and conceptual work undertaken on both sides of the Atlantic has now made this possible," said William Heath, chairman of Mydex.
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