INDX - a distributed personal data store

Securing the Future of Your Data

We are working on a defence against the turf war on people's data; and it's all about you.

There are now dozens of platform vendors and service providers on and off the Web who are grappling for control over individuals’ personal information, trying to accumulate as many users as possible in order to maximise understanding of every nook and corner of social interaction — a relentless process satirised in Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel The Circle, about a company with the totalising slogan “All That Happens Must Be Known”. This centralising trend, backed by a surveillance-and-analytics business model, began with the rise of so-called “Web 2.0”, in which sites became sophisticated apps and content-management platforms designed to facilitate the creation and sharing of user-generated data and content. That content began as a few social network profiles and blog posts, but gradually grew to encompass the entirety of personal data people keep or generate, from files and documents to film and music archives. Thus began a migration of personal digital artefacts from individually-administered personal computers into various information spaces of the web.

The goal of personal data stores is to reduce this trend by making individuals, who are currently at the periphery of their information spaces, central to them instead.

-- M. Van Kleek, K. O'Hara, and N. Shadbolt, "The Future of Social is Personal"

INDX is a personal data store platform that overlays a normal PC's operating system to provide sophisticated data management capabilities, including supporting longitudinal keeping, secure archiving of information streams, such as from sensors and APIs. It is currently in active development by the SOCIAM group in particular researchers within the School of Web and Internet Science at the University of Southampton, UK.