BitsaboutMe is a young startup based in Bern, Switzerland. We operate in the rapidly evolving Personal Data Economy.
We fundamentaly believe that privacy and the protection of personal data are human rights. The management of our personal data and digital identity will become cornerstones of our digital lives. Used in the right way data can greatly benefit the individuum and society at large. Hence personal data is a valuable asset and should not be locked away, but utilized under the consumer’s full control. It is our mission to drive this paradigm change by providing a technology product that empowers consumers and institutions to use personal data in a fair and transparent way.
What problem are we solving?
Personal data has become largely concentrated in the hands of a few large Silicon Valley platforms, that use their power to squeeze out consumers and enterprises at the same time.
- Lose control over their personal data when they give it away for “free services”
- Have their privacy violated on a regular basis by companies and governments
- Do not participate in the value that is generated with their personal data
- Suffer from high cost and poor data quality due to lack of consumer trust
- Limited access to customer data is increasingly becoming a competitive risk for many industries
- GDPR and ePrivacy compliance cause additional risks and costs
A Personal Data Store (PDS), where users can easily collect and store their personal data across various data sources in a safe and secure way. They gain an overview over their digital identity with helpful analyses and insights.
A Personal Date Marketplace (PDM), where users can trade their “data for money”. When accepting data deals, they have full control over which data is shared with whom under what conditions. This solutions establishes a fairtrade of data and benefits individuals and institutions at the same time.
In a time of exponential proliferation of data, fast advances in artificial intelligence, mass survelliance and manipulation (nudging) consumers need to start at the source and regain control of their personal data.
How it all began
Our two founders Christian and Christophe have spent their careers in various online businesses. In their past, the use of data always played a crucial role. They met in 2012 as CEO and CTO of ricardo.ch, the Swiss version of eBay. Since those days they shared a common conviction that data is a huge asset.
However, the current deal between consumers and businesses is fundamentally flawed and unfair, as consumers give away their rights in exchange for “free” services wihtout having real alternatives. Changing that paradigm became their joint ambition.
With the sale of ricardo.ch, Christian and Christophe had quit their corporate roles, separately exploring new opportunities. Only shortly thereafter, in spring 2016, the EU passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This new privacy law created the missing link that was needed to fundamentally change the game of personal data.
The two quickly decided that it was the time to act and to build a consumer product that can operationalize the new consumer rights granted by GDPR. In the fall they started BitsaboutMe and are since then working on a solution to empower consumers to reclaim control of their personal data. The vision is to build an online marketplace for personal data, that enables individuals to share their personal data profiles safely and securely with companies.
Our business model
The BitsaboutMe approach is fundamentally different from the current “data for free services” model, because consumers always keep full control over their data. They alone decide what happens with their data. BitsaboutMe’s role is to provide the platform where personal data profiles can be exchanged and traded. This is only done by the users themselves, with their explicit consent and under their full control.