To PIMS or not to PIMS


So another PIMS app downloaded and I hope this doesn’t end in the same old “meh” feeling I usually get.  There needs to be something more exciting or enticing about this stuff, despite its importance and function in our everyday lives.

I have tried quite a few of these tools/platforms/apps now.  I sign up to them  for research into the realm  of digital privacy, so I can share my findings with others and selfishly to exploit the best method of managing my own data.  Snooze… That’s my point.  How do I successfully drive interest and make people care about understanding what happens to all the data we type into our PCs, Laptops and Smartphones.  Owning this information is incredibly important but no one seems to care…yet.   Despite the recent plethora of “hacking” incidents, the most notable being the Sony Pictures hack, people don’t seem to realize that this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

I have signed up to Mydex, Ghostery, Handshake, PrivacyGrade, The Respect Network and Ello and each time I get really excited because at the core they are all great tools and ideas  that promise some spec of what I am searching for.  Unfortunately so many of these services are amazing in theory but in practice just aren’t particularly practical and perpetuate the  ‘so what’ question. The biggest shortcoming of all is their lack of customer insight which is an interesting paradox considering the nature of this blog!  I wonder how much these companies are talking to their customers and welcoming feedback.  None have followed up with me, and that is odd considering most are in their beta phase and could benefit from a two way conversation with the initial all important “adopters”. People very quickly become disinterested when there is no ‘real’ additional value.

I am getting frustrated at the lack of two way conversation or relationship that I think should come as part of the package. Come on PIMS, I am willing you on!

Which leads me nicely into the new app I just downloaded – CitizenMe,  which seems to be on the right track and has a rather nice gimmicky game like element.

The top 3 benefits of CitizenMe are;

1 – It helps you manage your social network profiles by showing you what your are sharing and quick links to update your settings

2 – It profiles your personality based on your social media content and describes you as others see you

3 – It translates your terms of services and notifies you of changes which includes a traffic light summary letting you know if the changes are good or bad

This is an incredibly easy app to set up and link with your other apps and social networks.  Navigation was also incredibly intuitive and the language was easy to understand – no legalese!  What I found most interesting was my personality profile based on my Facebook content and friends ‘likes’ or comments.  It was scarily accurate, describing my preferences for social occasions better than I could myself.  It got my age very wrong but I am too flattered to care.


The interface is really cool and the thing most people will be interested in is their personality scoring but after that I fear that the ‘so what’ question could come up again.  How often will I really open this app?  How often will I use it?  What additional value will it give to keep attracting me back, let alone the average person who doesn’t really care about their privacy?

What would make you use a PIMS?



5 reasons to care about your personal information – Wednesday #3

The most valuable commodity I know of is information”Gordon Gekko, Wall Street (1987)gordon-gekko-wall-street

Are we seeing the value? The 2011 World Economic Forum compared personal information to oil, the most valuable resource of the 21st Century.  What’s crazy is that this industry is evolving contrary to the economic law of commoditization.  Data is increasing in value with the increase of supply!  I just read on CNN Tech that data is now a $300 billion a year industry.  Acxiom one of the largest data broking firms recorded $1.1 billion in sales 2 years ago.

Are we missing out on more $$$$$$?  Handshake a new PIMS that is in the testing phase of brokering individuals data, estimates that someone like me could earn up to $8000 a year!  Have I got your attention now?

Federico Zannier asked this same question and set up a kick starter project to sell all of his personal data for $2 a day.  The goal was to make $500 but this was far surpassed and he actually raised $2700.

If we are talking value in terms of improved service then yes there are some good examples where my satisfaction is high because they have tailored their offering just for me.  Netflix, iTunes and Amazon are good examples here, they remember me, make my purchases easy and make recommendations from my history.  But! as for better deals or advertising, I am really not experiencing efficiencies with irrelevant promotions and advertising cluttering my digital world – I really don’t need speed dating a Hyundai or weigh loss products .  My other bugbear is the longer we have to wait in line at stores.  The number of clicks to identify the right product, personal details and other data entry points is mind numbingly annoying.  It isn’t just me is it?  is everyone experiencing longer queues in stores?