HomeInsightsEuropean Commission reports on consultation findings in relation to personal information management services

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In July 2014, the Commission launched a consultation on the concept of user-controlled cloud-based technologies for the storage and use of personal data (“personal data spaces”).

The Commission has now published the relevant findings. In particular, the Commission’s report includes:

  • results from a public online consultation on the question of whether personal information management is perceived as an interesting way forward for a wider public;
  • a detailed description of the current service offerings in the area of personal information management in Europe, including technological and commercial readiness of the service offerings; and
  • a description of future R&I challenges and other potential areas of public (and EC) intervention.

The document looks at the evolution of technology and considers how such technology now allows control over the use of personal information to be put back into the hands of the individual concerned. The document examines a number of initiatives that have developed over the course of the past five years with the aim of providing platforms and/or services to individuals so that they can manage their own data.

Overall, the replies to the public online consultation showed that there was some sensitivity as to the issue of personal information management. The Commission concludes that the personal information management sector is still in its early stages.

The report shows that there are a number of players that have either already launched commercial offerings or are about to. Many are relatively small in size, however, meaning that it will be a challenge to roll-out personal information management services to a mass market.

The report concludes that more work is needed on a number of fronts and the following lines for potential action were identified:

  • political support and public endorsement of the concept of personal information management platforms;
  • further examination of the role of public sector organisations as part of the governance of personal information ecosystems to build trust;
  • practical support for community-driven collaboration (coordination, making available meeting rooms);
  • further evidence on the right to data portability;
  • support for additional experimentation and piloting of personal information management platforms;
  • various research challenges, notably in respect to the concept of consent and its implementation in practice; and
  • commencing roll-out by supporting governments and administrations to use personal information management platforms when managing citizen’s data.

To access the Commission’s report, click here.