Gatekeeper keeps your personal data under your control
OpenPDS is a software tool that locks down a user's personal information – and will only allow third parties access to it if you agree
Gatekeeper software lets you control who is accessing information about you
BIG BROTHER is watching you. But that doesn't mean you can't do something about it – by wresting back control of your data.
Everything we do online generates information about us. The tacit deal is that we swap this data for free access to services like Gmail. But many people are becoming uncomfortable about companies like
OpenPDS was designed in
If you want to install an app on your smartphone, you usually have to agree to give the program access to various functions and to data on the phone, such as your contacts. Instead of letting the apps have direct access to the data, openPDS sits in between them, controlling the flow of information. Hosted either on a smartphone or on an internet-connected hard drive in your house, it siphons off data from your phone or computer as you generate it.
It can store your current and historical location, browsing history, content and information related to sent and received emails, and any other personal data required. When external applications or services need to know things about you to provide a service, they ask openPDS the question, and it tells them the answer – if you allow it to. People hosting openPDS at home would always know when entities like the NSA request their data, because the law requires a warrant to access data stored in a private home.
Pentland says openPDS provides a technical solution to an issue the
Storing this information on your smartphone or on a hard drive in your house are not the only options. ID3, an
"OpenPDS is a building block for the emerging personal data ecosystem," says
Other groups also think such personal data stores are a good idea. A project funded by the
OpenPDS is already being put to use.
OpenPDS will help people keep a handle on their own data, but getting back information already in private hands is a different matter. "As soon as you give access to that raw data, there's no way back," says
They know where you are
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