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 them 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 the 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 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).

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 (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.

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 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.

Augustinas Markevicius

VP of Engineering
Always curious life hacker, ex-scientist, and software architect specialising in Scala. He created one of the smallest robots in the world and helped organisations with their digital transformation before becoming responsible for Dataswift's technical vision and development team.

Philip Midcalf

VP of Managed Services
and 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 Finance
Jason has wide professional experience in civil and private service, consulting, and commercial line. His work has spanned startup and multinational corporations from Australia, to Malaysia to the UK. His strength lies in the ability to view problems from multiple perspectives.

James Kingston

VP Research and Innovation Partnerships
James sources and assesses opportunities for Dataswift, and manages a diverse portfolio of partnership projects. Deeply interested in data regulation and tech ethics, he previously led a research team at CognitionX. He is a graduate of Oxford University, a member of the English Bar, and has a weakness for appearing at conferences.