Why Get Involved

The world of consumer data ownership is coming quickly.  The UK government’s Midata initiative has the ambition of giving consumers access to their transaction data, and government has already taken powers to mandate this in relation to energy, mobile phone, current account and credit card use if necessary. In parallel the EU’s Data Protection Directive will be implemented by 2017, giving consumers across Europe the right of data portability, covering every company they do business with.

The Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills is keen to ensure that UK businesses are best placed to take advantage of the huge opportunities that will be created when 300m consumers across Europe gain access to their data.  And so it has collaborated with a range of organisations to build the Midata Innovation Lab; an environment in which businesses can test what is possible when data from multiple sources is abundant, and organised around the individual.The midata Innovation Lab (mIL) is a large scale opportunity for all stakeholders to work together to experiment with how consumers’ personal and transaction data, from multiple sectors, comes together into one place, under the consumer’s control.  This will include everything from
their mobile phone and energy usage to bank account transactions and GPS data from their phone.  Participating organisations can then access this data to prototype innovative new products and services and test them out
with the consumers involved in the lab.The mIL has been designed to provide you with a safe and controlled environment in which to explore the possibilities created by customer data, along with other like-minded organisations and a keen group of early adopter consumers:

The Lab provides access to real data from multiple sectors centred around real customers.  This allows a unique insight into a consumer, one that no industry vertical can access alone. The mIL’s features, intended to attract innovative businesses and developers to participate, include:

  • The fact that consumers have all volunteered to be part of the Lab, and have granted express permission for their data to be included in it. You don’t need to ask them – they’re asking you. They’re keen to engage with you about how data could fuel new products and services.
  • The Lab is limited to 1000 customers – a manageable number to work with.  There’s no need to worry about the policy or IT implications of rolling out data access to your entire customer base.
  • All the data in the lab will be safe, secure and under the controlof the consumer.  The data environments being used conform to ISO27001, and security and privacy are overseen by industry experts, including Which? and the Information Commissioner’s Office.

In addition, there is a growing community of organisations -
from Telefonica and Npower to the Open Data Institute – who are using
the Lab as a place to find partnerships and collaborations.  It also
provides participating organisations with an opportunity to shape the
debate with Government and Regulators on key issues such as privacy and security and standards.

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