What does your online footprint look like?

What does your online footprint look like? How much data do you think companies have accumulated on you over the years you have been googling, shopping, using social media platforms, reading articles and so on? These were all questions that our startup group had never considered before beginning to work on our project together with PersonalData.io. If you think about it, the amount of data you’ve generated online is significant. What you may not often consider though, is how that data is used by companies to, for instance, tailor advertising to your personality profile, or monitor your preferences when it comes to shopping.

The topic of personal data is high on the public agenda, even more so because of the impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force on May 25th in Europe. This is why the timing of PersonalData.io is very relevant.

Among other things, the GDPR regulation stipulates that individuals have a right to access the personal data that corporations gather on them, ask for it to be transferred to another entity, and/or request that it be deleted, under the so called “right to be forgotten”.

Like many startups, PersonalData.io is passionate about the problem they are trying to address: how to manage access to and control of personal data. In a world where individuals have increasingly found themselves at the mercy of large, multinational corporations when it comes to controlling the data they’ve generated online, PersonalData.io acts as a welcome counterweight, firmly on the side of the individual.

Set up by a former IMD MBA student, Jerome Groetenbriel and his partner Paul Olivier Dehaye, PersonalData.io aims to facilitate collection of personal data for individuals. They do this by acting as a one-stop-shop, using their app “Chommy” which interacts with customers and requests data from corporates on their behalf.

So far, our group work has focused on trying to map out what consequences the GDPR regulation will have, how data will be managed and stored going forward, and what the long term needs for businesses accumulating large amounts of personal data will be. Coming mostly from corporate environments, the shift to working with an early stage startup, fine-tuning a business idea for a market that will change in ways that are yet to be defined, has been a challenging but great learning experience.

For Personal.Data.io, this is only the beginning. Once GDPR is implemented, the efforts made to build the customer base will serve as a crucial aspect of the long-term goal of the business idea; to eventually capitalize on data mobility by potentially facilitating transfer of personal data files between organizations, under the consent and scrutiny of users. What exactly this will look like remains to be seen as the consequences of the GDPR regulation become clearer. For now, what is certain is that control of personal data and how it is used, is about to change.

By Fanny on behalf of Group 14

startup_group 14

Our team: Gaspar, Piyush, Jerome, Sara, Filippo, Fanny, Arshish

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