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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

What is "Midata" ?

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills is working with leading businesses and consumer groups to give individuals more access to, and control over, the data that companies hold on them. The midata project – part of the government's consumer empowerment strategy will allow people to view, access and use their personal and transaction data in a way that is portable and safe. This will help consumers get a greater insight into their own spending habits and improve their buying decisions. It will also let everyone take advantage of the growing number of applications that can process this type of data, helping individuals manage their finances or choose products to suit their lifestyle.
The three main objectives of midata are to: 
  • secure broad private-sector participation in the project, with a key number of businesses agreeing to release individual, personal data to consumers
  • let consumers access and use their data in a safe way
  • encourage businesses to develop innovative services and applications that will interpret and use the data for consumers
Midata aims to build on the considerable commercial potential for businesses in shifting their customer relationships from a unilateral data-gathering approach to a mutual trust-based sharing one. By combining data from many different sources and letting consumers add information of their own, businesses have a significant opportunity to help customers create rich, new ‘person-centric’ data assets. 
A number of businesses, consumer organisations and regulatory bodies have committed to working with Government towards achieving this vision. All have endorsed the key principle that data should be released back to consumers.
The Government is currently consulting on a proposal to create new legislation. If utilised, it would compel suppliers of services and goods to provide to their customers, upon request, historic transaction and consumption data in an open standard machine readable format. While considering whether to take up this order making power, the Government plans to continue its work with the businesses already involved in the midata programme.

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