TRANSPARENCY ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO SHARE DATA
Way too often, people have no means of managing their personal data. Paradoxically, data is not owned by users, nor is it under their control, but stored and managed in the data centers of companies. However, there is a transparent solution for data management which benefits both companies and users.
Users should be able to use and exploit their personal data. This is one reason TIM - Telecom Italia’s Mobile Territorial Lab (MTL) initiative has developed a personal data store called My Data Store. My Data Store is operated by TIM - Telecom Italia.
”It allows users to specify with whom they share their data,” says researcher Corrado Moiso from TIM - Telecom Italia’s Future Centre.
User can create a private account on My Data Store and choose which and how different data sources are collected and stored, says researcher Corrado Moiso from TIM - Telecom Italia’s Future Centre.
User can create a private account on My Data Store and choose which and how different data sources are collected and stored. They can grant access to data and they can set the level of detail of the associated information, such as demographics. Users can also delete bunches of personal data collected either from a specific source or during a given time interval, having control of the full life cycle of their data
Since the data centers are located in Italy, the data is secured according to the declaration of privacy by the European Parliament. Italian laws follow these guidelines.
Familink: Sharing data with families and local community
The goal was to study how families share data via smartphones. Over 150 parents with children up to 10 years old were studied for three years. They were provided smartphones by TIM - Telecom Italia. Personal data was collected through GPS, Bluetooth contacts, and call patterns. This data was sent to users’ private accounts in My Data Store. Using the tools provided by My Data Store, users were allowed to see and delete data, control what data is collected, and determine how data is shared. Result showed that only 14% were not interested at all in sharing their data. The reason: they have transparent access to data, so they were positive about sharing it.
This initiative gave a birth to a solution called Familink. It is a mobile application designed with and for families for exploring opportunities for free. Users can share information about leisure activities and local opportunities for children and families. They can also get in touch with other families and can become an active part of their community. The application is based on the mutual trust of its users. The Familink community is composed only of certified users.
People are allowed to see what companies know about them
My Data Store has various related applications. One is an application for managing the personal expenses and shopping data. TIM - Telecom Italia developed an application for the LivLab (Livorno Living Lab) initiative. Over 100 customers of UniCoop (a big Italian retailer) living in Livorno were able to manage the "memory" of their shopping habits, getting insights on them and understanding their mobility patterns.
“The very crucial result was that people were positive toward the collection and profiling of their shopping habits, if they could see their profiles and how they gain benefits from analyzing them. One of the benefits for the customer is personalized support. There was a common trust between retailer and customers.”
The goal was to test how shopping data can be shared between retailers and customers in a positive way. In the experiment, people could see the data via their smartphones: their last invoices and expenses, or how much pasta one bought last year. Data was gathered from smartphones and membership cards.
One interesting feature was a carbon footprint level. When people were more aware of their behavior they were willing to recommend products. Users could contribute to the collection of data (crowdsensing) with direct mutual benefit for retailers and customers. They could see the origins of purchased items and how much they strained the environment (transportation, materials, and package weight). Users could also see if they are profiled as “green people” depending on their purchased products and quantities.
Users can also check from their mobile phones if they are profiled as “green people”
“The very crucial result was that people were positive toward the collection and profiling of their shopping habits, if they could see their profiles and how they gain benefits from analyzing them. One of the benefits for the customer is personalized support. There was a common trust between retailer and customers,” Corrado Moiso says
LivLab was created by TIM - Telecom Italia in collaboration with FBK, UniCoop, and CNR.
“The purpose of the initiative is to enable the design and development of innovative data-driven services leveraging customer data and based on a transparent and trustworthy exploitation of shopping data. Both actors gain benefit by strengthening their relation (trust and reputation), increasing affiliation and retention, getting a better and more engaging shopping experience,” says Michele Vescovi, a researcher at the Semantic and Knowledge Innovation Lab (SKIL) of TIM - Telecom Italia, located in Trento at the EIT Digital’s co-location center.
Telecom Italia’s Michele Vescosi on My Data Store
Data comparison does not interest Italian users
According to a survey by SmartCrowds, Italian people are willing to share their data when they have access to it and know how it is used. However, they are reluctant to make a comparisons with other users, for example, about their shopping habits or how much they spent, etc. Nor they are willing to receive automated algorithm messages reminding them how much they are “missed” when not using certain services.
“We have been offered a role model from U.S. social media companies that all likes, followers, contacts, and ‘friends’ have to be revealed in public and measured. It seems that in Europe this role model or status based on popularity is not taken for granted when utilizing data,” says researcher Nicola Doppio of SmartCrowds, part of HIT (Hub Innovazione Trentino).
SmartCrowds conducted various studies for the partners of Trusted Cloud. This “user-centric business reality check” is valuable in making sure that customers are satisfied. SmartCrowds does value positioning, conducts user panels, and tests prototypes with users.
Trusted Cloud Ecosystem
TIM brings to the Trusted Cloud Ecosystem systems for the management of personal data and experience in driving pilots and user trials.
“We brought requirements, scenarios, business cases and technologies in order to include the users and personal data-drive services in the ecosystem”, says Michele Vescovi.
“From the Trusted Clloud Ecosystem we got experience from different context and countries and, in particular, in order to insert our technology into a wider set of opportunities to build fully trusted, secure services based on Cloud technologies. The other partners have more experience in the field of security, policy enforcement, malware/breaches detection, encryption, and data stream management. The collaboration has also helped to improve the user experience and the business modelling before to reach the market.”
In the Trusted Cloud Ecosystem TIM is not only proposing a platform or a tool, but also a different paradigm for the management of personal data.
“We are propsosing a different way of thinking in providing services to the users and in exploiting the personal data in order to build value and conceive application/services for the consumer. Our contributes aim at creating a novel ecosystem of data-driven privacy-preserving trusted applications and services for the user based on the Personal Data Store model, as the way to collect, store and manage the personal data.”
According to Vescosi three goals were achieved with the help of EIT’s Trusted Cloud Ecosystem.
“Firstly, we do not just need to create a product but also to detect the right drivers that motivate people and organization toward a different paradigm in managing personal data. Secondly, EIT helps to bring our “local” initiative to an European level. Finally, this ecosystem heps to strengthen the potentials and the capabilities of our platform thanks to the competences of other partners.”