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Microsoft test new personal data tool

Posted on Jan 09, 2019.

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It has recently become known that Microsoft is in the process of testing a new feature that will allow you to discover what organisations have access to private data that isn’t necessarily owned by you, such as the police, national healthcare, as well as some digital companies. This concept is known as ‘Inverse Privacy’, meaning when other people have private data on you, that you don’t own. This research being conducted by the Microsoft Research branch is going under the name of ‘Project Bali’, but it is currently being privately beta tested.

On Project Bali’s website, it explains that the research is to essentially create a “new personal data bank which puts users in control of all data collected about them… The bank will enable users to store all data (raw and inferred) generated by them. It will allow the user to visualise, manage, control, share and monetise the data.”

This new project comes at a time when there is greater interest than ever around privacy, especially when it comes to data collection by technology firms. The reason behind Microsoft’s decision to create a system such as this is due to personal data becoming some sort of ‘new oil’. It is becoming increasingly valuable and is often in the centre of some sort of controversy. Facebook is a perfect example of an online platform frequently mishandling personal information, and as a result of these high-profile data breaches, experts are trying to raise awareness on the value of personal data, especially for digital companies.

GDPR was introduced as a result of a huge amount of companies that were gathering and using personal information for commercial gain. This increase in the use of personal data, led to numerous amounts of jobs being created in data centres and data analytics, seeing the two industries expanding massively the past few years. Further information is yet to be released by Microsoft.

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