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The Personal Data Economy


People, enterprise, governments and regulators are thinking differently about personal data. In the wake of open data regimes, privacy regulation and cyber-attacks, the propensity for organisations to collect as much data as possible is lessening. And where data was once considered an entity’s most valuable asset, there’s a noticeable shift towards enabling and deriving value from the sharing of consented insights, all under the control of the data subject.

Meeco has been globally recognised and awarded as a personal data and identity management pioneer. One of the aspects that defines our technology is that we consider the legal (governance) and the business (commercialisation)as core parts of how our solutions function to support an equitable digital economy.  

The potential of this new paradigm is explored well by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) and leads to the powerful conclusion that “with the shift towards customer control, data collected with meaningful consent will soon be the most valuable data of all, because that’s the only data companies will be permitted to act upon”. Importantly, the HBR article also outlines new rules of engagement highlighting that “firms that generate any value from personal data will need to change the way they acquire it, share it, protect it, and profit from it.”

It’s clear that a revised framework is required to support the positive network effects of consented sharing of personal data; one which puts the customer at the centre of the interactions. A wide range of organisations are stepping into this space, from government bodies to financial service providers to create new value for customers and service providers.

The networks these entities are creating are enabled by international standards emanating from organisations such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF). The clear definition of roles for network participants makes it possible for multiple providers to build infrastructure that supports data portability and interoperability for a wide range of use cases.

However, one of the questions we hear frequently is “if individuals are controlling their data and services are not free based on advertising, then what is the business model?”

Over the past three decades, there has been an exponential rise in social and data platforms resulting in the monetisation of data based on a concentration of platform access and control.  In parallel, breakthroughs in science and technology have been made possible through data driven decision models.

Now the challenge for the decades ahead is to shift monetisation away from centralised data control towards the value to be unlocked through data exchange and collaboration. Thus, providing mechanisms for all members of society to be incentivised towards the creation of new value and better decision making.

Over the past few years, a range of regulatory drivers have been introduced towards the goal of a more transparent and equitable digital society including:

  • Open Banking - various jurisdictions globally
  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Europe
  • The Consumer Data Right (CDR) - Australia
  • The Data Governance Act (DGA) - Europe

These new and evolving regulations aim to address the asymmetry in markets, data access, data governance and increasingly artificial intelligence. They provide a governance framework to designing how equity and value can be created and measured when the physical and digital result in a phygital world.

Increasingly the exponential need for data, identity and security management provides the opportunity for trusted organisations and intermediaries to leverage new value driven digital business models that mitigate risk and increase productivity.

In this context, financial incentives move away from data collection and towards the outcomes made possible through establishing trust and enabling personalisation and better decision making, resulting in two important business models:

  • Net New Value: Enabling digital trust through mediation, verification and risk mitigation services. Typically, a trusted party pursuing this business model will be able to:
  • Verify data at source
  • Prove provenance or data integrity
  • Manage risk
  • Mitigate fraud
  • Connect and authenticate parties in a trusted ecosystem
  • Provide infrastructure, governance and/or business rules
  • Enable audit and dispute resolution
  • Time to Value: Enabling higher productivity through reduction in costs and time to value across digital channels. Typically, a trusted party pursuing this business model will be able to:
  • Reduce time and friction when onboarding to a service
  • Provide service orchestration reducing the need for over collection of data
  • Improve customer experience and reduce back-office processes
  • Manage data consent and compliance
  • Enable compliant access to data for pricing and personalisation
  • Connect network actors under a common business framework and/or scheme
  • Incentivise, reward and protect data subjects including decision enablement.

Meeco's Approach

Meeco contributes to the development of standards and adhere to specifications with the specific intention of enabling interoperability in this new paradigm. Reducing the barriers to integration and designing for interoperability enables networks to scale, and that is our focus in helping our partners to develop the necessary infrastructure.

Meeco's Secure Value Exchange (SVX) is designed around the needs of network participants and the roles that they play with tools for Data Holders, Verifiers and Issuers. While SVX encompasses the entire life cycle of data sharing within a network, it can be deployed by Verifiers and Issuers independently. This can be as simple as adding a QR code or embedding our APIs into existing workflows.

Importantly, data governance and business rules can be ascribed to the data exchange to ensure compliance and alignment to the network commercialisation strategy.

SVX provides all the components for a trusted data network, accessible through a single API or via our Portal.

  • Secure data storage (Vault): enables enterprises and customers to securely store data. Also enables Wallet Holders to back up data from their wallet and securely store or share private data.
  • Verifiable credentials: allows Issuers and Verifiers to manage credential schemas, and issue, verify and revoke credentials.
  • Verifiable Data Registries (VDRs): allows Issuers and Verifiers to publish relevant information for stakeholders to view, including credential revocation transactions, credential schemas, and list other trusted Issuers and Verifiers.
  • Identity wallets: allow users to hold and manage their digital identity, assets, credentials, cryptographic keys and DIDs via a cloud or mobile wallet.

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  • Issue, verify and revoke credentials
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