As networked digital technologies become more pervasive and diverse, it is possible to collect personal data generated across the internet and to gather information on the different facets or personas of a person's patterns of consumption and lifestyle behaviours. This digital footprint constitutes their digital identity, i.e. their Digital Personhood
Currently, personhood data is fragmented, residing in various repositories across the Internet. It has been considered to be part of the data commons that the 'Big 3' Internet Companies – Google, Facebook, Twitter – and other similar organisations have been freely data mining, analysing and, crucially, monetizing. Google, for example, captures data about its search engine users and monetizes it to generate most of its revenue from advertisers who are interested in reaching out to Google's online users. A shortcoming of this advertisement centric business model is that technology intermediaries capture only a small subset of Digital Personas rather than an individual's entire personal data record or Digital Personhood. Furthermore, the individual whose personal data is being monetized by third-parties has no control on the collection process and the subsequent exploitation of his/her digital personhood data.
The challenge of this bold and disruptive proposal is to empower citizen prosumers – citizens who both produce and consume data – by utilising and exploiting the economic value of their digital self in a new tradeable 'futures market' in personhoods. Specifically the project will develop a 'micro-Persona eXchange', building persona futures products and management system applications to enable prosumers to monetize their personhood data. The success of this project will stimulate world leading research activity concerning the design of persona products and trading processes, including the ongoing development of novel intelligent data analysis techniques for mining digital personhood data.