The University of Southampton

Nigel Shadbolt appointed chair of mydata

Published: 14 April 2011

Professor Nigel Shadbolt was this week appointed chair of mydata, an initiative designed to give consumers easier access to data held about them by businesses.

The initiative, which was announced on Wednesday (13 April) by Consumer Minister Edward Davey, will enable consumers to use the digital data held about them by a whole range of businesses: financial, retail, telecoms and utility companies. This data can empower consumers aiming to get the best deals for products and services - for example, in price comparison sites.

The project will assess how to give people their personal data in a format that is safe to pass on to third parties.

Professor Shadbolt of ECS-Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, commented: "Information about how we shop, travel, communicate and live our lives is a powerful source of insight, so it's important that each of us should be able to access our own data.

"I am very much looking forward to chairing the mydata group, which aims to make accessing this data much simpler, and should be a watershed on how we use data to get a better deal every day."

The working group will form a series of subgroups, chaired by Professor Shadbolt , which will decide on a format and timetable for releasing data. Professor Shadbolt has already been involved in a number of government data initiatives, including the setting up of

The group of companies include Barclaycard, Mastercard, HSBC, RBS Group, Lloyds TSB, John Lewis Partnership, Groupe Aeroplan (Nectar) Home Retail Group, Centrica, Southern and Scottish Energy, Everything Everywhere (T-Mobile/Orange), Google, and Microsoft.

The initiative was launched by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) in conjunction with the Cabinet Office as part of a wider consumer push called 'Better Choices: Better Deals'.

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