mydex – a very interesting personal data store and privacy management system

I have covered Identity, Privacy and Reputation many times before on the OpenGardens blog.

For instance:

Mobile devices and privacy: Should we focus of changing behaviour of people OR changing behaviour of devices?

Solving the minimum disclosure problem: The significance of Claims based Identity system


Webinos – leveraging the Web as the greatest common denominator for multiple platforms ..

It is a part of my PhD research work.

So, in that context, mydex is an interesting initiative since it is a personal data store. According to their site:

Personal Data Stores are designed to restore to individuals control over the management and sharing of their personal data online. They promise to create a positive step change in the relationship between individuals and the organisations they deal with.

and as per the mydex FAQ

What is a Personal Data Store?
A Personal Data Store is a service for individuals that helps them collect, store, manage, use and share their own personal data for their own purposes. It is, if you like, the equivalent of a company’s ‘data warehouse’ except that it sits on the side of the individual, under the individual’s control. For example, with a Personal Data Store, individuals can decide if they want to share any information with another person or organisation and, if so, what information they want to share with who, for what purposes.
In short, Personal Data Stores are a tool to put individuals in control of their personal data.

How does it work?
A Personal Data Store is a database that’s under the individual’s control.
In one sense, the contacts list on your mobile phone is a ‘Personal Data Store’ – it stores your personal data. Personal Data Stores run with this idea and extend and deepen it in all sorts of ways: the amount of data you can store on it, the sorts of data you can store it, the things you can do with this data.
Personal Data Stores like Mydex are designed to be ‘platform agnostic’. You can have one on your PC. Or your browser. Or your mobile device. Or you can access it via the cloud. The important thing is that it is yours, and no one else has access to it unless you say so.

Tony Collins at Computerweekly says

Something like Mydex would work as an ID system storing authentication tokens provided by trusted third parties like, perhaps, the GP surgery. Or the local authority. Or indeed the IPS.

Mydex propose people will use it to get parking permits, guarantee their credentials for job applications, let people see the results of their CRB check, register births & deaths, make planning applications, prove their age, planning applications, update the electoral roll, get a TV license, and tell anyone who wants to know about a change of address.

Imagine the money saved on the census, says Heath, if it merely polled people’s personal data stores electronically.

(And imagine no longer having the embarrassment of the British democratic census being run by US defence industry giant Lockheed Martin – though it would be a convenient way to register deaths if we have the same company poll people as bomb them).

A good white paper from mydex is Mydex white paper (pdf)


  1. Thanks for the coverage. I think it was Mark Ballard at CW not Tony Collins. Tony (whose work we follow with interest) generally covers major IT disasters; Mydex cannot be said to fall into that category (and long may that remain the case). I think Tony has moved on also; I forget where.

  2. ajit says:

    oops well spotted. thanks William for the correction. kind rgds Ajit