Decentralization cannot be marketed

The Redecentralize conference at the London office of ThoughtWorks this past weekend was framed as: Taking back the net. A weekend to learn, connect and make technology that shapes society. I can’t imagine for one moment that your weekend was […]

Toward a Social Compact for Digital Privacy and Security

The Global Commission on Internet Governance ( was established in January 2014 to articulate and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance. The two-year project is conducting and supporting independent research on Internet-related dimensions of global public […]

Open up to the GDPR and the IoT

During our round-table on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) we explained technological compliance in terms of a bridge metaphor. It’s 50% about Alice, our name for the citizen, and 50% about the organization, referred to as BizCo. The GDPR […]

Questions of VRM, privacy and consent, advertising and technology

PostShift kindly hosted the hi:project’s second London meetup yesterday evening. This post is not intended to be a record of the conversation, more a Q&A based on some questions raised at the meetup and in other fora in the past week or so.

By the way, Alice is the name we give the citizen, the individual we seek to serve across all her roles in life.

  • Why does Jon Husband call the hi:project the epitome of VRM?
  • How do we get HI to Alice?
  • How do organizations ask for consent?
  • Besides privacy, what else does the hi:project do for the consumer?
  • Won’t consumer goods companies still want to target ads at Alice?
  • How do you describe the tech?
  • Because Of …

Why does Jon Husband call the hi:project the epitome of VRM?

Many ProjectVRM ventures have focused on storing personal data, seeking then to monetise that service. This is fatally flawed. Personal data needs to ‘breathe’, to be situated within other data, in order to become more useful. And Alice doesn’t want to pay for her personal data bank, much like she doesn’t want to pay for personal banking (and that’s something she actually understands!)

Alice doesn’t get data. She gets when she’s overdrawn. She gets when her diabetes is erratic. She gets when she’s in too many meetings. In other words, she gets information, not data. Continue reading