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Explore the Future of the Web

A People Centered Approach to Data and the Internet of Things

Aldo de Jong

We produce vast amounts of data in our daily lives. Email, text, search, check-in, photos, payments – all these activities create a trail of digital exhaust. This massive output of data has been triumphantly declared a “new asset class” by the World Economic Forum, and compared to oil as the world’s newest economic resource. This economic promise has sparked the "big data boom" and a frantic race to gather and monetize our personal data.

This presentation argues that this gold rush obscures the real value of personal data and forgets the fundamental rule of innovation: start with the person. Why has this basic principle been largely absent from our obsession with big data?

In this presentation, I draw on six months of global ethnographic research with data-driven individuals, experts, and start-ups to address five common misconceptions about personal data. I argue that dispelling these misconceptions is increasingly important as we enter the era of the Internet of Things. To conclude, I will share a set of simple principles and business examples for creating a more people-centred approach and layout why this approach to data is key for creating new value in the internet of things.

The audience will walk away with:

  • a new perspective on personal data
  • principles for a people-centered approach
  • an overview of companies taking a people centered approach to data and the IoT
  • an understanding of why a people-centered approach is key to creating new value in the IoT

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WebVisions Barcelona explores the future of the web with a lineup of badass visionaries. July 2-4 at IED Design School.

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