WRITTEN ON July 28th, 2011 BY William Heath AND STORED IN Uncategorized

Over at Mydex we asked ourselves the question: what current government initiatives would be transformed by the emergence of a new personal data ecosystem?

We’ve tried to list as many relevant initiatives as we could. But there are undoubtedly more: do please add names/links in comments.

For some the introduction of structured user participation, with customers equipped with a personal data service such as Mydex seems to us essential. The service absolutely needs to put the individual at the centre. Individuals need to be able to gather, manage, verify and share their personal record. Only the addition of an individual-centric model to the existing organisation-centric model can deliver speed, convenience, privacy personalisation and choice to the individual, and cost savings and efficiency for the organisation based on better online authentication, cleaner data and feeds of personal circumstances and preferences.

1. The PDS is pretty much prerequisite to getting it done

NHS “Dallas” delivered assisted lifestyles:
ID Assurance – the individual has to acquire proof of claims and act as point of integration
ID pilot 1: HMRC “one click” business registration
ID pilot 2: Skills Funding Agency learner’s passport – because lifelong education record segues into lifelong career record, and individuals will need to provide digital proof of qualifications
ID pilot 3: NHS Healthspace – because health data needs to be shared under the patient’s control for various health and related purposes
ID pilot 4: DWP Universal Credit
ID pilot 5: Electoral Registration – because this is the core identifier for so much else
BIS Mydata. Where’s the individual going to put their data downloaded under Mydata if not in a PDS? Also: downloaded “Mydata” (such as bank and utility bills) is exactly what the individual needs as supporting evidence for proof of claims
DWP transforming labour markets – because the individual wants to model their skills and experience against jobs available, and the career record segues from the education record
Growth review – open data agenda – because the “Power of Personal Information” unleashes new economic growth even bigger than the power of open data
“Digital by default”/Race Online 2012 – because the last 15% to go online will include those asked most often for the most personal data, and are least well placed to understand implications, so need most protection
NEST workplace pension reform – the whole problem is the pension data needs to be portable by the individual. Having a PDS transforms portable pensions.
DWP TellUsOnce – because equipping individuals with “tell anyone once” is far more powerful and cost-effective than customised internal paraphenalia. Plus it covers private and voluntary sectors as well as public sector.
NHS Healthspace – the aims of the Health White Paper (self-service, empowered patients, choice) are only deliverable if control over the record is returned to the individual
ONS Census reviewSubmitting data from PDS to ONS is frictionless; fast and free unlike the £480m 2011 Census which is due to deliver its results in 2012-2013
HMRC/DWP Tackling fraud and error (pdf) Needs a model in which individuals can acquire and deploy proof of trustworthiness alongside existing “everyone’s a suspect” model
HMRC/DWP real-time information (pdf) Can’t be done without integrating around the individual
Smart meters Far better that the usage data reside with the individual for reasons of choice and privacy

2. Policies/activities that share the philosophical basis of the PDS

Big Society and BigSoc networkIf you want participative active citizens they need control over their data and to be empowered to get stuff done online.
Comprehensive spending review: this requires across the board savings.
Gov.uk (formerly AlphaGov/BetaGov) – if the individual sees only structured data driven by the circumstances and preferences in their PDS, that’s the last web site government ever needs
Community Budgets
Social Impact Investment bonds eg Social Finance
eg MoJ probation
Open public services white paper
Local Direct Gov

3. Generic innovation activity where the implications of the PDS/new personal data ecosystem would have major impact

Data.gov because linked data driven from the PDS opens a new realm of possibilities
DWP Innovation Fund
DotGovLabs Innovation hub
Technology Strategy Board many of whose current projects are around innovation in identity
Nesta “creative councils”

Is that a reasonable start? Are the categories about right? How much more is out there?

When you join up the dots between all this, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that personal data stores and a new, user-driven personal data ecosystem underpin a whole raft of transformational opportunities in public services.

One Response to “What government initiatives would be transformed by the emergence of a new personal data ecosystem?”


[…] couple of months ago, Mydex (via William Heath) published a brief UK list of government initiatives on the Ideal Government site, looking at applications of personal data systems (PDS). The […]