Tag Archives: data

Man on Phone Privacy

What Does Your Phone Know About You?

These days we really do rely on our mobile phones and it is quite scary to think how much your phone knows about you, where you have been and who you have seen.  It even knows some of your favourite hobbies, interests and activities. It is in essence your digital brain!  What would you do without it?

Mobile phones have moved on an incredible amount over the past 30 years, from a device that is clunky and cumbersome to small, light incredibly fast computers that fit in our pockets and handbags. We connect other devices to them such as our fitness trackers, smartwatches, children’s toys and much more.  They are the central hub of our daily lives.  As such they collect a massive amount of data about us.  Some of which is passed on to the applications that we use and some just sits idle on the phone.  Then there is some data that goes back to the carrier as well and some that is collected by the sites that we browse. They are complicated little devices and often we forget just how valuable that data is to us until we lose or break our phone.

A couple of weeks back I wrote a piece on how you can find your phone using the data stored online about you that relates to your phone and it’s location.  This week I thought we would look more at just what data there is on these devices and why it is important to secure and back up your phone and it’s content.

Most mobile phones these days have the option for you to store a copy of your photo’s and contacts in the cloud.  This means that every new contact and photo is saved both on your phone and somewhere on the internet.  The chance of losing this data is low unless of course you haven’t set your phone up to do that. It is one of the first things I set up whenever I get a new phone and I would recommend that if you haven’t done this already then do it as it is a life saver when your phone is damaged or lost as you still have all your contacts and those precious pictures of friends and family.

The next thing that I always set up is a way to secure my phone so that if I lose it someone else can’t just use my phone, run up a massive bill and cause all sorts of trouble. I have heard too many friends lose their phones abroad and because it is abroad they are still liable for the call charges made. Put a pin on it and it is at least a deterrent. You can also turn on phone tracking and remote wipe which take that process one step further. The only issue with these is that you need to have GPS turned on and this can be a bit of a battery drain. You can still find your phone’s last known location through other means so to me this is not essential.  Android phones track where you are using a process called triangulation which uses WiFi and cellular data to identify where you were last so I tend to use that as my fallback.

The apps that you have installed on your phone and have paid for are all stored by the app store where you bought them from so these too are recoverable. The data within these apps is stored remotely too by the app creators. As long as you have stored your contacts, pics and videos remotely you should be able to pretty much recreate your device time and time again. This is the beauty of distributed data.

Looking at this another way though all that distributed data is accessible from a single point – your phone. Once someone has that they have access and potentially control of everything. Just bear that in mind the next time you turn your phone on and you haven’t got any security turned on. You are putting your online identity at risk. That digital footprint that we have talked about here on the blog a few times could become compromised if you don’t protect it properly.

This article was brought to you by digi.me who put you in control of your social media content. Download it now to protect your digital memories. 

diamond facets

Your Digital Footprint Revealed

Each person is unique like the facets of a diamond as a result your digital footprint online is also unique to you but how do you get to see those unique aspects of your digital footprint?  What patterns and relationships online are unique and valuable to you and how do you identify them in among the reset of the social media noise?

We here at digi.me understand that everyone is unique and we haDigi.me Puts You in Control of Your Social Media Datave been working on a range of different ways for you to interact with your social media networks.  Unlike when you go onto Facebook and view your timeline (or rather what Facebook allows you to see on your timeline) we show you everything you have posted in chronological order.  You can search, save and share that data.  You also have the ability to analyse your content and find your closest connections based on who you interact with most often.  You also get to see the combination of your social media updates from all of your different networks in one place.

If you are wondering who you haven’t been in touch with for a while you can even analyse an older set of updates and see who you might like to reconnect with by starting a conversation with them.  You can find out what your all time top photo’s were and even find out what days of the week you do post most of your social media updates on.

With our Flashback feature you can see what you were up to this time last year across all your social networks, or even look back beyond last year to the ones before that to see what you were up to then. You may be fascinated what memories and moments you come across.

Quite simply digi.me is a tool that opens up social networks on a personal level giving you that granular insight into those things that are most important to you.  If you think there is a feature missing or that you would like all you need to do is tell us and we will look into adding this in a future update.  

 

Capture Your Personal Data with digi.me for Free

Retrieving Your Personal Information

From time to time we all think about leaving platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  However before we leave we want to make sure we aren’t losing anything in the process but how do we go about doing that?  This article will run through some simple but effective approaches to help you capture and retrieve as much of your personal information as possible. 

Facebook

When it comes to retrieving your Facebook data there are a few different ways to get your data.  Unfortunately Facebook don’t make it easy to get a copy of everything you have ever put up there and if you want everything you will need to put in a personal data request and from what we hear that can take months for a response.  Officially if you are based in Europe they should be responding within 40 days to your request however history already shows this hasn’t been the case in the past.

In the meantime what you can do to retrieve a lot of your personal data is download digi.me and connect to Facebook to synchronize and retrieve the majority of your personal data.  This will provide you with your wall posts and images direct to your computer and you can export these into an easy to use PDF. To gain access to our private messages you will need to “download a copy of your Facebook Data” which you will find on Facebook under settings. The list of what you will get with this download can be found here and it does include your private messages.

Twitter

Again with Twitter you can use digi.me to automatically download your tweets as you go which will save you time and effort having to regularly remember to download your archive to keep up with your latest twitter updates.  As Twitter limits the amount of time you can go back historically we recommend that you also download your Twitter archive so that you have all your really old Twitter content.  That way you will have all your Twitter updates that you have ever created to date and all the ones you generate in from when you start using digi.me onwards will also be captured.  There are some very comprehensive instructions from Twitter on how retrieve your Tweet archive here.

LinkedIN

Digi.me also works with LinkedIN to help you keep copies of your most recent interactions on the social network.   However you may also wish to put in a request to gain access to every update you have ever made on LinkedIN through their access request page.  They do collect information about your search history and much more. You will be surprised just what this social network really knows about you and your data.

The other useful feature that you may wish to take advantage of within LinkedIN is the ability to export your profile as a PDF.  It is a great starting point for putting together your CV and is a fairly well hidden feature.  There is a little down arrow next to “View Profile As” when you are on your profile page. Click on the arrow and you will find a drop down with a few different options including the option to “Save to PDF”.

Let us know if you have found this article useful and remember to share it with your friends!

Keep Calm and Find My Phone

Friday Fun: Finding Yourself

When you lose your phone or your laptop fails you how do you find and restore your digital self?

The other day I lost my phone. Don’t ask me how I will never know!  Anyway it was lost for three whole days and along with it my sanity and my sense of humor were both starting to go as well.  All I will say is thank goodness that my digital life is mainly online and here’s how I managed to recover it!

First of all I started searching for my phone… I looked everywhere, turned the house upside down… then started searching my car and anywhere I’d been recently. It took forever and I didn’t find it.  So then I decided to play detective…

  1. What was the last social media content that I uploaded? What were the last pictures of me online and what was I wearing? (Maybe it is in my clothes or maybe it will give me an idea of where I was when I lost my phone… (I used the digi.me journal to do this bit as it was quicker than looking at each social network individually!)
  2. All my photo’s are backed up to the cloud so I also then went through the most recent image uploads there… The last images that were uploaded were at home… that’s a start then… it’s unlikely to be anywhere but home…
  3. My phone is on Android OS so I then decided to see what information Google had captured about my location to confirm this last assumption. All I needed to do was search “find my phone” on Google and it shows the last place it saw it.  Thank goodness it agreed the last place I had it was at home!
  4. So now to work out what I did with it.  I knew where I’d been that day so then went through the bags I’d used and voila my phone was found!

So you see social media and my online digital presence can be used to track my every move.

Your challenge today is to find out what information is out there about you and share your story online.  Remember when you share your story tag it with #itsyourlife and we’ll share the best of them on Twitter and Facebook!

technology

The Future of Personal Data

What is the future of personal data? How will it affect me personally and how will it affect my work and day to day life? These are all big questions when it comes to our personal data and these questions become even more prominent when we start to look at who currently has access to data about us.

Currently our banks, telecoms companies, social networks, fitness band companies, search engine providers and shopping sites all have information about us. Whilst this data is somewhat dispersed across the internet it is also duplicated. In some ways because it is not all in one place it seems safer.  However over time that data becomes out of date and unreliable.  We move house and have to inform everyone of our new address for example and it takes forever to get round to changing everything over.

These big companies aren’t allowed to share the core data about us between themselves without our permission but in some cases they have that permission without us even realizing it as we sign up to the small print or miss an opt out tick box.  Before we know it we have unrelated companies spamming us or cold calling.

Now imagine if we could easily revoke that permission to access the information about ourselves from those companies without having to write letters or chase, just at the click of a button.  Wouldn’t that be easier… and wouldn’t it be easier if we could give permission through simple but understandable terms and if we didn’t agree they couldn’t use our data.

Going one step further, if we owned our health data we could carry our health records ourselves when we travel and when we go to hospital with an illness or injury.  Lost medical records become a thing of the past. Clearly we would want to backup and securely store this information but once we can do that we can do so much more with it.

In order to make this sort of future a reality there are a few things that have to happen first. Companies need to understand better how data is owned and by whom, they also need to realize that it is no longer acceptable to lose data or sell it on without our knowledge.

Individuals need to realize that their data has a value, it belongs to them and is in fact part of their personal identity and not just something to be traded to the highest bidder for ad placements.  We need to stop giving away parts of ourselves without understanding how we can take control back of that data at any point in the future.

The “Internet of Things” is already a reality but the “Internet of Me” is just beginning. We all need to start taking a look at who we are, what data is of value to us and how that data could be used in ways that benefit us more as individuals.

Digi.me helps you to take that first step where you control of your personal web data.  We have started you off with putting you back in control of your social media updates and we look forward to bringing you even more control of your data.  Just remember we don’t see your data you do! It is yours and you own it all!

321go

Friday Fun: 3, 2, 1…

This Friday we thought we would have some fun by sharing with you three features that our users really love!

3. PDF Export: Save all your social media content forever by exporting it into a PDF. You can print it, share it or just save it in case you need it one day.

2. Search: You can’t find a picture online but can’t remember if you shared it on Twitter, Facebook or Instergram but you know you shared it… try a quick search on digi.me and you’ll soon find what you were looking for!

1. Journal: People love the journal as a great way to look back over their content, filtering it by date or just looking back a year from now.

Bonus!

We have just added the ability for you to now export your social media data to Evernote as well! Next to that all important PDF icon is now the Evernote elephant logo. Click on it and try it out! Let us know what you think!

If you aren’t already using digi.me why not try it out for free!

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See our user survey results for more digi.me insights!

friday

Friday Fun: Archiving… Really?

Have I gone completely crazy I hear you say! How can archiving be fun… Why would I want to do that?  So lets go back to the beginning, you joined a social network to share moments and memories with friends.  You’ve now built up a few months or many years of memories online that have a lot of personal meaning to you and you don’t really want to lose them.  So how do you capture them and what will you do with them next?

Capturing those memories is relatively easy to do with digi.me you just download the app, connect it to your social networks and off it goes and archives your digital memories.  What you do with them from this moment onward is really up to your imagination.

The big question is how can we make that process more fun for you?  If we could make archiving into a fun thing to do what and how would we do that and make you smile at the same time?

Cute Kitty Pic Alert!!!
Cute Kitty Pic Alert!!!

We could show you some cats or other cute pictures… We could show you a few of those memories whilst they are being put on your computer… but what would make you go oooh and aaah!!!

Leave a comment or share your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus with us! 

photobook

Doing something different with your social media data

We all have social media data all over the place, be it on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.  We update our statuses, share pictures and videos or interesting links with friends, family and colleagues.  But after that what do we do with it?  Many of us just leave the content there and never really look back at it.

What Would You Like to Do With Your Data?

Digi.me puts you in control of your data and a few of the ideas that some of our users have come up with are truly inspiring.  Ideas that were suggested ranged from creating physical journals of conversations to picture montages from the last month.

Right now with digi.me you can take all your social media content and put it in a single place which you are in control of.  From here you can view it, analyse it and even look back over it to see what you were doing last week, month, year or even at a custom point or period in time.  You can export that data and use it in any way you choose to.

At the end of the day it is your data and you can do literally anything with it! All you need is a little imagination and some time to make it happen.

So why not give digi.me a try if you haven’t done already and do something different with your data.

If you already use digi.me let us know how you are using your data in fun and creative ways.  We love to inspire our users and show you what one another are doing with your data.

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Visit digi.me on Stand M-158 at Collision Conference on Day 2

Digi.me have a stand at Collision Conference in Las Vegas from the 2nd – 4th May 2015.  You will find us on stand M-158 and we would love to meet you!

If you are coming to Collision Conference make sure you pop by and say hello.  We would love to show you where we are going to take digi.me in the future and show you where we are today with our technology.  You will get a chance to meet our Chairman Julian Ranger and our CEO Rory Donnelly.

Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter and let us know that you will be there.

 

 

control

Sharing – change in control needed

Sharing today is generally seen as positive, but is also associated with negative aspects around privacy. If the negative aspects are not fixed sharing will slow and cease to the detriment to everyone, but there is a solution that will increase benefits to individuals, businesses and society as a whole IF there is a change in control – from business control to individual control.

Sharing is positive because it creates new services and functions that can help individuals, businesses and society as a whole. Sharing has grown through database marketing in 80s/90s; social media in the mid-00s; wider Software as a Service (SaaS) services since; and will grow exponentially more as individuals embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) – provided the “bad” can be controlled.

The negative is privacy; along with the increased sharing of information has always come concerns with regard to privacy. If we look back to the introduction of what might be termed database marketing in the 80s, increased privacy concerns led to the introduction of check boxes on forms stating whether businesses could use the information for other purposes. Today we have dramatically increased the personal data that is shared, both explicitly and hidden, whether that is social media, other web/SAAS services, monitoring of clicks and the like – and with that has come heightened privacy concerns.

The web related privacy concerns have grown ever more over the last 6 years, with greater numbers of people reducing/changing their social media use (or using more private channels), using Do Not Track, Ad blockers, ’going dark’ and other methods. The concept of the “creepy line” is well embedded now within society. Unconstrained and uncorrected, this will lead to a reduction in sharing, curtailing the positive benefits, and crippling new concepts such as IoT, which depends on greater levels of sharing.

This reduction in sharing leads to a discontinuity with dramatic effects. Not only will the Internet of Things be stillborn, but innovation in providing services based on personal data will stall across all domains (personal communications, commerce, health, etc). This will have a dramatically negative effect on businesses, but also individuals and society as a whole.

A BCG report “The value of our digital identity” states “The quantifiable benefit of personal data applications can reach €1 trillion annually to EU-27 by 2020  – with private and public organisations reaping about a third of the total, and consumers the rest” and then on goes on to say ““BUT much of this potential value will fail to materialise if consumers act to restrict the flow of personal data.”

How do we solve this problem and allow, even encourage, greater sharing? The current trajectory MUST be broken and restarted following a different approach in order for the full promise of personal data, inc. the IoT, to be realised

Change in control

There is a perception that there is so much data that it is currently infeasible for individuals to control it in a meaningful way with the information technologies available today, but our aim must be to provide that much needed control.

There are many suggestions for “personal data stores’ or “personal data lockers” and similar, hosted by third parties, to help individuals gain some control over their data. However, these all suffer from a number of issues: control is still via third party; the stores only hold a subset of data which means there is no overall control, no interoperability between different stores and no single point to access; holders of individual’s personal data (e.g. Facebook et al) often don’t allow access for retention by third parties. At best these systems are a band aid to the control issue and provide limited immediate benefits to individuals, severely limiting take up.

However, there is another approach – one in which the overall architecture is different, but at the same time familiar. By approaching the issue of privacy from an alternate architectural viewpoint, it is our contention that many of the problems are mitigated and contrary to there being an additional cost to privacy, there is in fact the reverse: an additional benefit to everyone involved with the new architecture, individuals, businesses and society alike – and at reduced cost.

The fundamental architectural difference is to return ownership and control of personal data to the individual, rather than the control being held exclusively by business

Personal control – the ultimate solution

Personal control is a simple change in perspective:

– Others don’t own your data – you do.

– Others shouldn’t hold your data – you should hold it yourself

By changing the view, this simple insight solves the privacy issue for individuals and the ability of businesses to access that data through user permissions.  This view, and the understanding that underpins it, has been developed by the company digi.me (formerly SocialSafe) in the UK, in a program of work that was initiated in 2009.

Having first downloaded the digi.me software to your device, the software works by retrieving your data directly to your digi.me library on your device – not touching anything else along the way, not the digi.me servers, not anything. A 100% private library of all your data, fused and normalised – social, financial, utilities, purchases, health, leisure and much more.

The digi.me user interface then allows the user to do more with their data, 100% privately, never losing it, and keeping access forever. It helps them be more engaged, have more fun, and to do more things, better – all locally and immediately, thereby giving that crucial incentive to start the process of regaining control of their data.

So digi.me is your librarian, but also extends to being your postman. The postal service is where digi.me controls a certificate system that allows other apps, web sites, etc. to ask the user for permission to see aspects of their data for a specific and permissioned purpose. If the permission is given by the user based on their perception of the offered value proposition, the digi.me app sends the permissioned portion of the ‘rich data’ to the requesting entity. This is summarised in the diagram below and in more detail in a video at http://digi.me/video

(Note: Whilst this architecture is different in that the individual owns and controls all their data, it was noted above that it was also familiar – that is because it is exactly what businesses do. Businesses hold all their own data – and then use local and remote apps to extract greater value. The individual is like a business with all the data available today – it should therefore not be a surprise that the solution is a familiar one!)

Conclusion

So by holding all their own data, individuals regain control and can do more with their data themselves and importantly can decide who they share that data with, what elements are shared, when, for what purpose – in this way the sharing economy can overcome the discontinuity posited above.

(Note: In my previous post I noted that we should define Privacy in the digital age as the “Ability to control your personal data, including who you share it with, when and for what purpose”. By owning your data you are then in control of your own privacy.)