MICROSOFT IS WORKING on a new system designed to give users command over their personal data in the way that they should have had all along.
'Bali' (link is working intermittently, keep trying) is currently in the research stages and can only be accessed with a code, but you can request one if you'd like to test it. It is described as a dashboard that 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 visualize, manage, control, share and monetize the data," Microsoft explains.
Wait… so Microsoft is going to let us have control of our own data? Like we should have had in the first place? Tres generous.
At the moment, Bali is learning how to use such data generated from different websites, starting with those involved in the Open Data Initiative of which it is a founding member alongside Adobe and SAP. We hasten to add, ‘announced' but not exactly ‘explained'.
Such a move is nothing if not bold. Although it isn't as dependent as, say, Google on monetising this data, it still represents a way for users to opt out of telemetry that the company depends on for things like ensuring that updates go to plan, and let's face it, their track record on that recently has been piss-poor.
The concept is based around a 2014 paper from Microsoft researchers that speaks of ‘inverse privacy' - the idea that users might not have access to the same data about themselves as third parties.
At present, Microsoft isn't talking about Bali in any sort of official capacity, but it can't deny its existence, because it's out there for all to see.
At the moment, it's impossible to say exactly what data generating websites will be able to interface with Bali, how it will work and indeed if Microsoft eventually plans to charge for this service, but it's going to be fascinating finding out. μ
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