In the last few years, we in the VRM community have been using term “personal data store” as cornerstone concept. We all understood we were talking about the same thing: a VRM approach for allowing people to use share personal information with third- (and fourth-) party service providers on their own terms.
Yet as our community grows, it has become clear that the Personal Data Store is but one aspect of a complete system, one we might as well call the Personal Data Architecture. As developers get more traction with their technology and the marketplace, it gets more and more useful to delineate the elements of the architecture more rigorously.
To do that, Doc Searls, Craig Burton, Iain Henderson, Kaliya Hamlin, and I set some time aside after the VRM+CRM 2010 Workshop. Like the ongoing VRM conversation, it was a rolling evolution of a dialog. It started with just Craig & Iain with the rest of us showing up and participating throughout the afternoon. The core agreement is the terms I present here. I’ll post a following up with some new ideas in a few days.
These are the key definitions underlying the Personal Data Architecture at the core of VRM and all of our work:
Personal data store – a service where data is actually stored, with the ability to provision access to that data by permissioned applications; may be distributed and/or replicated across multiple physical stores.
Personal data exchange – a service where an individual manages personal data store permissions.
Personal data API – the interface a permissioned application uses for accessing personal data stores and personal data exchanges.
Personal data application – a service permissioned by an individual to access their personal data store for particular use of specific information. Also an “app”.
Service – an instance of software running on a machine.
Individual – a living human being.
Bonus Term: (which wasn’t the topic of this particular meeting, but syncs up with the work Iain and I are doing over at the Kantara Initiative’s Information Sharing Work Group.)
Information Sharing agreement – an agreement between the discloser and the recipient governing the permissioned use of specific personal information.
This language will continue to evolve, I’m sure. For now, this is a good snapshot for those of us building systems for sharing information between users and applications and for using that shared information.
So, hopefully, the next time you hear PDS, you’ll know what it is…