[passport graphic] 'Personal data' is no longer an adequate term to describe all of the information that can found out about us and that we generate. The good thing about 'too much information' is that we can now make distinctions between different kinds of personal information, in other words, information relating to person. Thanks to the social web that there is no longer just one kind of personal data but at least three: 1. There is personal data like that in passports and in driving licences - name, date of birth, marital status, address, travel history, or criminally bad driving history. What distinguishes this data is that it is about a person, for the benefit of a particular system. You may control the events that gave rise to this data. You don't control the data. This is the traditional meaning of personal data and what most people understand when they encounter the phrase.
[[facebook screenshot] 2. Then there is another kind of personal data - email, photos, writings, contacts, bookmarks, and so on, which are created or collected by an individual. These are just as personal, perhaps even more personal, than the first kind. The social web i.e. social media and social networks is behind the ability of an individual to create such data as opposed to being merely the subject of 'personal data'. Let's call this data social (web) data . [This kind of data results from the choices of an individual, and continues to be controlled by that individual, provided the ultimate owner and controller of the space within which this data is organised continues to allow that. By this I mean applications like Gmail, Facebook, but also Flickr and Delicious, and any number of other social web platforms and networks.]
[zeo graphs] 3. The third kind of data is connected with self-tracking . Self-tracking means recording your activities or measuring something about yourself, usually in order to see your behaviour over time. For example, recording blood pressure or sugar levels, checking your blog server stats, or taking a pedometer with you. Input for self-tracking can come in two forms.
[fitbit stats] One form of data for self-tracking is self-collected data . It is data that would not exist without the individual taking steps to record it. For instance, taking a pedometer, FitBit, with you when you walk, measuring your blood pressure or blood sugar level and recording it. Or using Zeo to record your sleep patterns.
The tools would be clustered around the user’s data, not around platforms or applications. It all starts with the individual [vitruvian man]. And as an individual user, I want a range of functionality to manage my data, metadata, analysis, visualisation, pattern spotting etc so I can continue to quantify and ‘hack’ myself.