Consent and Control
Peter Bradwell, Demos' personal information guru is leading a People's Inquiry into Personal Information, and asking members of the public what they think about the way their personal information is used.
From Facebook, to targeted advertising and Amazon's personalised recommendations, our 18 participants negotiated the minefield that is personal information and decided that it is really down to the question of who uses it and what they use it for. They'll be meeting four times over the next month, delving into the way information is used and we'll be using the results to try to make sure policy reflects people's expectations and attitudes.
From last night's discussion, it seems we're happy to enjoy the benefits of distributing our personal information with consent, but at the same time are realistic about the limitations on our ability to control personal details once they're out on the world wide web. Do we know what we're signing up for? And can we take back consent once we've given it? It's great being able to send GPS data from our phones to tell friends where we are, but Tweeting that we'll be in New York from 8-11 December and leaving the house empty has an obvious down-side.
Over the next four weeks Peter will be talking to more groups in London and Bradford, and moving the debate on to the way online personal information is gathered and used, and the way our medical records are used. We'll be updating regularly so stay tuned!
Max Wind-Cowie facilitates the discussion into how our personal information is, could and should be used online.