About Dataswift

We provide the essential infrastructure and tools to give, take and use data responsibly.

Dataswift is a technology business that enables everyone to benefit from the new Data Economy 2.0 by combining ethical, compliant and privacy-preserving principles with technology infrastructure built to scale for the future through the use of Personal Data Accounts.

We are also the technology provider of the Data Passport System of Technologies and operate the Data Pass Network.

Problem, Solution & Product

We believe every enterprise will want to use Personal Data Accounts to transact directly with their customers and that every individual will need a Personal Data Account to function efficiently in the digital economy, making it as fundamental as an email, phone number, bank account.

The Data Privacy Problem

Personal data is highly valued and used as an exchangeable commodity. Individuals trade the data they generate for services, often through the notion of "freemium." This data economy is neither monitored nor scrutinized by governments and, as shown by recent events, could lead to potential abuses and antitrust issues.

Security breaches have led to data regulations being enacted to protect consumers through access rights, control and consent. However, third-party consent to share personal data is not a tenable economic solution for a well-functioning market. Since personal data is valuable, the black market has stepped in to fill the gap, where personal data can be bought and sold today. This black market has created cybersecurity risks and has made the internet unsafe for personal data at a time when it is most needed.

The Personal Data Privacy Solution

We have seen this happen before when music piracy was rampant, and the black market was rife with illegal distribution of music. The solution for data is the same for music then – establishing legal property rights for licensors and enabling conventional markets to form. For personal data, the solution is for individuals to be the official licensors of their own data and enable marketplaces for personal data to develop.

The Product

Dataswift has created a decentralized personal data server technology that enables personal data licensing directly by individuals to apps and websites on-demand as data transactions. By doing so, Dataswift dis-intermediates itself from the transactions and enables safe contracts, and standardizes the transactions between Personal Data Accounts and apps/websites for all data types.

From identity to credit scores and even storage space within Personal Data Accounts, our value proposition to apps and websites is to: 

  • enable access to personal data that was previously inaccessible;
  • port data cleanly without source constraints;
  • run custom computations without touching raw data; and
  • remove compliance overhead.

Our History

Dataswift's history begins with the story of the "HAT".

In May 2013, a group of academics from six universities and diverse disciplines – economics, computing, operations management, strategy, design informatics – came together at Warwick University. They were meeting about their £1.2 million UK-government-funded project, whose purpose was to engineer and design a multi-sided market for personal data – one where an individual's data would be owned by the individual. This project was dubbed "The HAT" (Hub-of-All-Things).

May 2013 – Nov 2015: HAT Research Project

It took 2.5 years to get the HAT from concept to reality. An Industry Advisory Board was created to help solidify thinking on the HAT economic and market models. "Mad Hatters' Tea Parties" and HAT Meetups were held to engage with developers, industry and policymakers. Countless presentations were made at academic conferences and industry events to inspire a community of personal data advocates.

In July 2014, the HAT project created its first database schema and released it to the public domain. By the time the HAT project ended in November 2015, the Alpha HAT Microserver was ready, along with 6 briefing papers on how the ecosystem should be designed and built. 

Nov 2015 – Aug 2019: HATDeX and HATCF

The "HAT Foundation"  – the collective name comprising of Dataswift and the HAT Community Foundation (HCF) – was officially launched in February 2016 at an event at The Shard in London, where a HAT platform capable of collecting, controlling, re-combining, contextualizing and sharing personal data was unveiled.

The job of globally rolling out HAT Microservers went to Dataswift Ltd, which held the software IP for the transaction engine and the deployment of HAT Microservers in the cloud. At the same time, the HCF was tasked with regulating the transaction ecosystem. Over the following three years, the technology system continued to be developed, along with the legal and economic model.

Sep 2019: Dataswift

Dataswift secured a £1.8m seed round raise in September 2019, led by IQ Capital with participation from Pacific & Orient Properties Ltd, Alphanumeric Corporation and Delin Ventures. 

Today, the Dataswift ecosystem is growing, rolling out Personal Data Accounts across FinTech, HealthTech and other industries. Our academic partners lead on use cases on digital transformation, innovation, and impact with >$31m of grants in 2021.

Our CEO, Irene Ng

Irene started her first venture running cruise ships in Southeast Asia in 1994, building it into a $250m monthly turnover business. She moved to academia in 2003 after her Ph.D. She founded Dataswift in 2015.

As Professor at the University of Warwick, Turing Fellow and Senior Member of Wolfson College Cambridge, Irene led the first $1.5m grant to create the Personal Data Account ecosystem in 2013 and subsequently >$5m grant funding for research into redesigning the personal data economy with 8 other U.K. universities.

Irene has written several books, published in top journals, written in highly acclaimed scientific magazines and blogs, and is well known for her academic papers that have steered the market design of the personal data economy. Her personal website is at http://ireneng.com.

Meet the Executive Team

Our team combines deep experience in research, law, economics, engineering and technology — leaders in personal data innovation, technology entrepreneurship and enterprise-scale solutions.

We’re always looking for great people to join us.

Tyler Weir

VP of Engineering
Tyler has technical experience at every level, from first-line support to founder. He has scaled both platforms and teams.

Philip Midcalf

VP of Operations, Platform & People
Philip is an established leader in managed services, cloud services, and the field of IT with over 25 years of experience. He develops and delivers client-facing services that drive mass adoption, while mentoring teams to provide exceptional service to the business.

Jason Shong

VP of Business Development & Asia Regional Director
Jason has wide professional experience in civil and private service, consulting and commercial line. His work has spanned startups and multinational corporations from Australia and Malaysia to the UK. In his current role, he brings his experience to develop Dataswift's expansion in Asia.

Ben Forbes

Chief Strategy Officer
Ben’s led a double life: as a serial founding member of several complex start-ups; and marrying Advisory Boards and C-suites to cutting-edge technologies for recreating global markets from the ground-up.  His work at a global institutional level spearheading stealth projects across Finance, Trade, FMCG, Infrastructure, Healthcare and BI lends well to bringing focused scalability to Dataswift and its global partners.