How can we take our data back?

By Johannes Ernst


The Dazzle mission statement says:

We take back our personal data…

Just how is this possible?

Indeed, depending on where you live, it may not be possible for you yet. But if you live anywhere in Europe, or in California, or in Brazil, and in one of many other places around the world, it is possible, because your government has passed laws that require companies to give you access to your personal data.

You didn’t know about that? Few people do. But about a billion people world-wide, perhaps more, have this right already, and many other jurisdictions are working on similar legislation as you read this.

Expedia, the travel reservation company, has put together a good list of countries. Look for the “Right of access” and whether your country has it.

This means that you can go to any company covered by the relevant legislation, and tell them “give me a copy of my data”. They are legally required to give it to you. How long they can take to do so and what hoops they make you jump through depends a bit on your particular location, but the basic right is the same. They generally have to provide this for free and may not charge you.

Try it! Usually they have a link on their website that goes to “Privacy” or something like it, and follow it until you find out how to request your data from them.

Unfortunately, there may be a downside: some companies might give you might be a big pile of files with lots of technical gibberish in it. (It depends on the company.) If so, while it meets their obligations under the law, that isn’t terribly useful. But that’s why we are hard at work building technology called the UBOS Mesh that can make sense out of the gibberish, and makes it useful to you, so you can, as the mission statement says:

decide how our data is used and monetized.

Stay tuned or:

Join us on Discord (invite) or Telegram (invite)