Your Identity. Your Data. It's Personal.

Or is it?

John Philpin

The Pay, Purpose, Play, Passion model of Work’ has been previously written about. Today we explore ‘Data’ in the context of ‘The Business Equation’.

It Starts At The Center

The core of The Business Equation is Identity … flanked either side by Work and Commerce … with which we engage through the context of Data and Technology. The tools we can use to re-balance the business equation towards People and away from Corporate include Learning, Language and Value.

A People First Data Model

Sharing Data

At any point in time, an individual’s data can be mapped on to a grid, where each data point is shared by either themselves or others. As you move further away from the ‘epicenter of self’, there is an increasing likelihood that any data element will accelerate to the top right of the diagram from the bottom left, where personal data starts.

Consider Your Date of Birth

You know how you don’t share your actual birth date on Facebook and then on your birthday all your friends who do know it write on your wall ‘Happy Birthday’? That’s what I’m talking about.

A more serious example might be a deep dark secret that you have told nobody. It’s private. It’s personal. One day you tell your best friend who of course ‘will tell no one’ (other than the one person that they ‘trust with their life’) … but as Benjamin Franklin said ..

"Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead."

How The Model Works

You might attribute a level of privacy in your social space that results in you only sharing your birth-date with your friends. But your friends are not necessarily committed to that same level of privacy. Not only that, but their propensity to share runs across a spectrum and some of those friends can and will share at a level that goes beyond your personal boundaries and your birth-date will be shared on social networks.

Developing The People First Data Model

The diagram above is designed with simplicity of explanation in mind. The full model includes extensions such as;

  • Group Augmentation. Example; club, place of work, bank, doctor …

  • Group Clusters. Example; doctor, clinic, hospital, health insurance …

  • Group Canvas. Utilize the entire canvas, not just a single dimension.

  • Group Size. The circle diameter is proportional to ‘group population’.

  • Group Boundary. Thickness will vary, reflecting how impervious a group might be. (A doctor will be more impervious with regard to your health records than a friend with regard to where you had dinner last night (though, your cell company will have a good idea!).

Think about it. Consider all the entities and companies you use and think how much they know about you through what you have told them and then what they have learnt through other sources. It’s more than you can imagine!


Save The Date

People First At The IIW This October

We will be sharing more about the Business Equation at the upcoming 29th Internet Identity Workshop (October 1st, 2nd and 3rd), where we are delighted to be sponsoring the documentation center. It’s an ‘unconference’, so though there are some related activities planned around the event, you’ll have to be there to find out more!

We are excited to be mingling with some big tech names on the day.


Many Thanks For Your Attention. Please do like the post, share through your social channels of choice and forward the email to colleagues, friends and family that want to join us on this journey. Most importantly my thanks to all of you for your support, emails and comments. I truly appreciate all of your support.