We live in an information age - and increasingly, a personal information age. In many ways we are reaping the rewards, from the potential for more efficient government, better customer service, and more ways for us to influence and manipulate what people think of us.
But we have yet to understand the consequences of our reliance on personal data. That means that people do not have enough of a say about how their personal information is used. As a result, we are losing control over what people and organisations think about us.
We need policy, technology, legal frameworks and practices that put people at the centre of the flows of their personal information.
What we're doing
We launched the FYI: the new politics of personal information pamphlet on 7th December 2007. We were delighted to be joined by the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, BBC technology critic Bill Thompson, and comedian and columnist Natalie Haynes.
You can download a pdf copy of the pamphlet FYI: the new politics of personal information for free here. You can watch a video about the research on the DemosTV YouTube channel here.
Next steps: People's Inquiry into Identity Technologies
The next phase of our research will focus on developing the public voice in the personal information debate. We want to run a People's Inquiry into identity technologies - an experiment in exploring public attitudes to the political, technological and legal implications of identity technologies.
You can download our project proposal for FYI: A People's Inquiry into Identity Technologies, here. We will follow the research with a conference at Wilton Park next June.
Do get in touch if you would like to talk to us about the FYI research, are interested in collaborating or would like to know more about our future work in this area.
For more about People's Inquiry is, see our Nanodialogues pamphlet.
Recommendations from FYI: the new politics of personal information
People themselves must be put at the centre of information flows. Our findings suggested a number of measures that government, the private sector and individuals could follow to improve the relationship between people, personal information and the institutions that use that information.
For individuals, we recommend:
The first step is for individuals to take measures to protect their personal information. Second,they must recognise the connections between the benefits ofsharing information, and the often less tangible costs and dangers that can result. However, this needs considerable support from government and the private sector to start the process.
For government, we recommend:
For business and the private sector, we recommend:
FYI: the new politics of personal information was supported by O2.
FYI: the new politics of personal information argues that individuals do not have enough influence over how personal information is used, and that we need to reconnect the everyday experience of giving away our details with the longer-term consequences.
information-sharing.pdf (application/pdf Object)
An excellent feed of interviews, conference recordings and seminars from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, at HArvard Law School.
hackers, banks and at-home executives
Iran shuts down website critical of president | Iran | Guardian Unlimited
Steve Boggan on a Big Brother-style government super-database | Special Reports | Guardian Unlimited
Benkler on intellectual property
Independent Online Edition > Media
Q. What could a boarding pass tell an identity fraudster about you? A. Way too much | Special report
Comment is free | The web works for the grassroots, but political power still l
Note on a competition for Sunshine Week and transparency in US government
Constitution Unit seminar series
consumer surveys covering privacy
Good source for privacy reading and general knowledge
Home Office Identity Theft website
Info sharing and children's services
Literature in the areas of behavioural economics and psychology relevant to the understanding of an individual's propensity to engage with their creditors
The end of an era as the Daily Mail loses ground
Kids, the Internet, and the End of Privacy: The Greatest Generation Gap Since Rock and Roll -- New Y
Democracy and blogs
Getty snaps up 'citizen photo' site Scoopt from Greenslade
National survey of British public's views on use of identifiable medical data by the National Cancer
FBI subpoenas news from WIRED
Journal on law and technologies
ICO report on surveillance
Garlik - protect your online security, keep track of your online data
Wireless: Tracking what people do on their cellphones - International Herald Tribune
Citizen Information Project: Final Report & Annexes
BBC NEWS | Hackers hit TK Maxx cardholders
Guardian 'Free Our Data' campaign, urging the release of of public sector data.
Identity Cards Bill
Can the internet be truly neutral? | Technology | Guardian Unlimited Technology
BNA - World Data Protection Report
UK Gov deploys lie detectors on benefits claims | The Register
Article on us watchlists
Compete CEO: ISPs Sell Clickstreams For $5 A Month - Seeking Alpha
Your ISP may be selling your web clicks
UK swamped by data rules - 17 Sep 2003 - Computing.co.uk
Shoppers risk their information online - 10 Apr 2007 - Computing.co.uk
Retention of communications data
MySpace UK Visitors Among Most Likely Not to Vote
Draft bloggers code of conduct
Comment is free | New technology, new lows for our political discourse
Article on technology and regulation
US legislation on reporting data mining activities to congress
Homeland Security data tool
RIAA and US Govt monitoring P2P sites
Code of conduct for citizen journalism photography site Scoopt.
Tim O'Reilly on web 2.0 and information control
Surveillance 'intrudes on our lives' | Politics | The Observer
Saddam's biometric spy files reused
Survey shows 9 in 10 of public is concerned over information protection :: PublicTechnology.net
Information Age Today Bulldog, ABN Amro customers suffer data theft
ISPA - Data Retention
BBC NEWS | Information chief demands reforms
New powers vital to avert surveillance society, says watchdog | Special Reports | Guardian Unlimited
More privacy rights de jure and fewer privacy rights de facto
Google may use games to analyse net users | Technology | Guardian Unlimited Technology
Press release from CFOI on Jack Straw's comments on amendment to FOI bill
Alessandro Acquisti-The Economics of Privacy-Resources on financial privacy,economics,anonymity
Ross Anderson's Home Page
U.S. Urges EU To Share Airline Data, Homeland Security Chief Says Passenger Information Is Vital To
Debate over legality of Care Record Guarantee
talk by danah boyd at pdf conference - on young people and online public spaces
report on Pew Internet study on teens privacy behaviour on social network sites
Speech by Rt Hon David Miliband MP at Google conference "We can: politics for the Facebook generatio
The Visible Man: An FBI Target Puts His Whole Life Online
Threat Level - Wired Blogs
It has recently been reported that Attorneys Generals from about a dozen US States, including Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania have demanded that News Corporation's social networking site MySpace voluntarily deliver a list of all sex offenders who have registered for or used the MySpace social networking service.
J�rgen Habermas: How to save the quality press? - signandsight
Ofsted survey of 10-15 yr old children designed to 'assess their success in meeting the needs of children and young people'
| Digital ID World | Global warming of the identity ocean
The Power of Information Review: online advice sites could improve citizen empowerment
GOvernment signals embrace of the power of information
Search me?-News-Tech & Web-The Web-TimesOnline
More about search engines and privacy...this time from business week
Digital ID world blog on waves of ideas about identity
2.3m Records Stolen from Fidelity
Consultation drafts from the ICO
DWP, HMRC and LA info sharing trial
FT.com / Technology - Where do we go from here?
The Office of Fair Trading: Internet shopping
Google Still Using E.U. Data Retention Ruse to Justify Massive Data Collection
Oxford Uni staff monitoring student photos on facebook
'Big Brother' plan for police to use new road cameras | Special Reports | Guardian Unlimited Politic
As Facebook Grows, Longtime Users Draw Privacy Veil
BBC NEWS | Magazine | 'ID theft left me in Slovenian prison'
Identities 'at risk on network websites' - Independent Online Edition > Crime
Blunkett secrecy attack | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited
Jill Stevens, director of consumer affairs at Experian
ICO's personal information toolkit
Link to report on secrecy in government, focused on the US.
The Information Sharing Index (England) Regulations 2006
Britain will be first country to monitor every car journey - Independent Online Edition > Transport
Report HL 165 - On Personal Internet Security
German court refused to order ISPs hand over user details to the music industry
Millions of Facebook users 'leave themselves open to identity theft' - Times Online
Google and Microsoft Look to Change Health Care - New York Times
Seth Finklestein on the YouTube CNN debate
Hackers attack world's largest jobs site - Times Online
More on the children's database - ContactPoint - from the Times.
Coverage of the access rights to ContactPoint - the children's database.
Safety fears over new register of all children - Times Online
CCTV drone polices V Festival
Free Our Data: Not waking the dead: time to make details of the dead avail
From Gnucitizen's blog, a video on OpenID of a talk from Dick Hardt.
comments on OpenID
Story on Connecting for Health
Outline of NHS it projects
Information sharing - Every Child Matters
ContactPoint - Every Child Matters
The Globalisation of Personal Data project is directed by surveillance guru David Lyon, with lots of interesting work.
One in 10 Aussies victims of ID theft: report - web - Technology - smh.com.au
Information Assurance Advisory Council > Initiatives > Public Policy
Schools to fingerprint infants - Telegraph
BBC NEWS | UK | All UK 'must be on DNA database'
'Promiscuous' RFID a data threat, warns privacy watchdog
APEC privacy framework
Liberty - Protecting Civil Liberties Promoting Human Rights : Britain's privacy
Concern over NHS's IT systems after 50 view celebrity's details | Health | SocietyGuardian.co.uk
Turner Prize 2006 - Phil Collins
RIAA Jury Finds Minnesota Woman Liable for Piracy, Awards $222,000 on Threat Level
Serious Organised Crime Agency - marketing fraud figures
Alfred Kobsa, who has done a lot of research into the privacy implications of personalisation.
Piece on 'privacy versus quality of care', looking critically at the privacy issues of sharing patient health records.
BBC NEWS | World | Europe | EU lays out anti-terror proposals
Web 2.0: new internet, new etiquette . . . new law? - Times Online
Report on a Get Safe Online survey of the uses of social networks and the information risks associated with it.
Family doctors to shun national database of patients' records | Society | The Guardian
Letter from some big hitting privacy and tech experts criticising rhetoric of biometrics.
Great post from Eric Norlin of Digital ID World on control of personal data
Potlatch: the public sphere as confessional
Archrights videos on ContactPoint database
Cory Doctorow on why copyright law needs to spot the differences between the different uses of copyrighted work.
U.K. student records to sit in accessible database | CNET News.com
MIAP Managing Information Across Partners - About the MIAP programme
Kim Cameron's THE LAWS OF IDENTITY
Excellent article on a new book looking at the implications of automated data reading and analysis.
Open Rights Group Newsblog : Blog Archive � Managers prepared to exploit customers? private data
Finland privacy judgment
Jeff Rosen on Google
AC Grayling on Privacy
'The Internet was built without a way to know who and what you are connecting to.'...
In 2006, David Cameron famously described Gordon Brown as an 'analogue politician in...
It's not Friday - but can I rant? Unsurprising reports today of some imminent proposals...
The FYI pamphlet was big on the need for ideas that can help people manage their personal...
Last Friday, 7th December, we launched FYI: the new politics of personal information, a...
We've been telling anyone that will listen for a long time that personal information...
"The aim of border control is to sort traffic into legitimate and non-legitimate and...
Big 'Big Brother' headline today, on the front of the Daily Mail. A written answer...
I just read a really useful post from the Read/WriteWeb blog about where the internet is...
Being pretty geeky, it pleases me when stories that you might assume are a bit tecchie make...
The front page of the Mail on Sunday was rather enjoyable today, expressing as it did tangible...
There's some coverage on the BBC website of the 'DNA database' - the store...
It’s striking how frequently there are stories about the insecurity of our personal...
Just read on Times online how Canon engineers, joining the hunt for the culprit in the leaked...
Reading a story about a further round of lawsuits from the International Federation of the...
Just read a story about Oxford University using Facebook to find evidence from their students...
We're holding an event with Google next Thursday evening at their offices in Victoria...
A really useful report from Privacy International - rankings of the major internet companies...
...how many search results for my personality came back?We ran a roundtable discussion yesterday...
The personal democracy forum conference (and unconference) are over until 2008. Two main...
The second day of the pdf conference has taken on the form of an 'unconference'...
Peter Bradwell, Niamh Gallagher and I are representing Demos at the Personal Democracy Forum...
I just found an interesting quote in a Wired interview with Tim O'Reilly. It ties...
I spotted some news today (press release here) about Sainsbury's renewing its contract...
I can't help but think of those particularly miserly teachers whose hatred of a pupil...
The Times leads with an excellent piece on the freedom of information. According to the...