This project explores challenges related to storing and retrieving people's personal information. A central problem we investigate is the way in which personal data is currently stored away in centralised silos of different companies with no easy way for users to control or integrate their data. One line of work in this project explores ways to re-decentralise the Web and bring back control to the users.
Such attempts face an uphill battle in a digital economy where companies compete to gather as much data about their users as possible, but we have prototyped a new platform called INDX which presents an alternative, decentralised model for how users access social platforms.
Another line of work develops new tools for Personal Information Management that support user-driven mixing of previously un-integrated data, giving users the ability to take advantage of their data across platforms. Here, we created DataPalette, an interface that introduced simple tools for working with heterogeneous data.