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.
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 the time when it is most needed.
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.
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:
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 to discuss their new £1.2 million UK-government-funded project, whose purpose was to engineer and design a multi-sided market for personal — one where an individuals' data would be owned by the individual. This project was dubbed "The HAT" (Hub-of-All-Things).
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.
The "HAT Foundation" — the collective name comprising of Dataswift and the HAT Community Foundation (HATCF) — was officially launched in February 2016 at an event at London's Shard building, when 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 HATCF 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.
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.
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 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.
We’re always looking for great people to join us.