We Need a Personal Data Protocol – Here It Is



Our personal data is not just our unique digital identifier…

“Personal data” is so much more than just a series of ones and zeros for matching our name to our credit card, or for getting packages from around the world delivered to us within hours. Our personal data can also reveal our deep, true personality and it can uncannily predict our future actions – with disturbing accuracy.

It’s a powerful and sometimes dangerous profiling tool that if adequately curated can generate a digital shadow – a psychographic version of our truest personal “self“.

Our personal data is not just our unique identifier, it is also our personality-profiler, our predictive-action tool, our feedback loop for sustenance and growth, and most recently, it has become a very, very valuable commodity – just not so much “our” valuable commodity.


Unfortunately, a vast majority of the value in our commoditized data is being expertly exploited by only a handful of very powerful entities that are making billions of dollars by effectively capitalizing on our ignorance and forced apathy regarding what is our own, precious property.

We eagerly and without caution sign away a “royalty-free worldwide license” to the rights and value of our data, in exchange for the simple pleasure of being able to use a platform or app for “free”.

But it’s not free.

Not only is it costing us the value of a commodity that we ourselves produce, but it is also costing us our highly-valued personal freedom.

In these times of mass-surveillance, we’re learning to greatly mistrust the authorities and the platforms we connect and engage on, because we’ve become acutely aware and concerned that we’re constantly being “lawfully spied on” in the interest of security by the authorities and in the interest of profits by the platforms. At least we hope it’s lawful, because while we clearly feel the unnerving creepiness of it almost every day, there’s so much of it going on that we don’t even know what is “lawful” surveillance and data capture, and what isn’t.

We’re #adlergic

Advertisers, marketers and consumer researchers have become so toxic in their hungry methodological pursuit, consumption and analysis of consumer big data that the unscrupulous game of “hide and seek” they are playing (tracking, surveillance and intrusiveness) is metaphorically making people sick of the whole Adtech industry. So much so, that in Deloitte’s TMT Predictions for 2018 they coined the term and hashtag “#adlergic“.

This #adlergic epidemic explains the massive success of the “ad and tracking avoidance industry” which encompasses; computer and smart-phone ad blockers, cookie blockers, some VPNs, ad-free membership platforms such and Netflix and Soundcloud, PVR television, and good ‘ol TV and radio channel-changing.

While people are not sick of the advertisers themselves, they are clearly sick of the way they are doing it.

In the profit-making-at-all-costs pursuit of finding a paying customer, the Big Data Adtech industry has become so completely insensitive to the individual’s personal privacy, respectability, intelligence and value, that they have essentially become unethical and socially unacceptable in their practices, causing government regulations such as the GDPR in the EU, and PIPEDA in Canada.

Data Control is Data Power.

While we accept that our data contributes to and acts as an essential conduit for key national and international public concerns such as: health, transport, defence, security, city infrastructure, and many more domains, we’re also fearfully apathetic to the fact that whoever controls the data today controls who and what interacts with that data tomorrow.

Absolute Data Power Corrupts Data Absolutely.

Much of the control over our data is not only attained by conveniently hiding our ownership and governance rights behind obscured Terms of Use contracts that are rarely read, but readily agreed to, but more damagingly, control is further defended through the implementation of proprietary formats of data structure, storage and transfer, primarily in the interest of “securing” the data itself.

But the result for the actual owner of the data, us, is that since the data is only portable (downloadable, usable) in a proprietary format, then it won’t easily integrate with our chosen data management system, which then effectively renders it useless, and valueless. The power of a non-standardized data format thus corrupts our ability to utilize our own data.


But the fact is; that you own your data, and you have the right to full control of it.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution to all of these problems, but the solution will be very complex to implement.

The most powerful solution for giving people the fully understood, clear, rightful ownership and control of their data is through a standardized formatting and transfer protocol specifically implemented to improve the security, privatization, development, integration, portability, ownership, governance and value of personal data.

A standardized formatting and transfer protocol will provide:

  • increased performance:
    lightens the load on blockchain, cloud and application network performance at large scale by reducing API integration and transaction processing requirements while reducing overall data transfer
  • ease of use:
    standardized formatting and transfer greatly simplifies; cross-platform integration, data utility and overall development processes
  • better security:
    makes personal data security much easier to develop, integrate, regulate, monitor and trust
  • greater privacy:
    makes data privacy controls much easier to develop and integrate into clear, understandable user management tools and processes
  • international compliance:
    makes regulation and enforcement much easier for companies and individuals to understand and comply with across borders
  • data democracy / sovereignty:
    allows for greater individual control, understanding, management and utility of one’s own personal data
  • clearer governance:
    makes implementing policies, procedures and standards for information assets much easier for organizations as well as for personal management and utility
  • healthier competition:
    provides lower barrier to entry, creates larger markets and incentivizes competitive advantages that benefit consumers and commercial end users alike

By providing these benefits within the ecosystem of the personal data industry and its many roots and branches, the end result is a win-win benefit that conveys massive empowerment to consumers and people in general everywhere, as well as to advertisers and the Adtech industry as a whole, not to mention the massive positive effect this would have on consumer and user trust and engagement.


More importantly though, personal data standardization will save hundreds of thousands of lives each year by providing greater data portability with more robust, clear and complete medical records at each stage of the patient’s care, whether between new doctors and new hospitals, or new health care providers and family.


In recognition of all the potential benefits and advantages of the implementation of a global standardized protocol for the format and transfer of personal data, I have decided to form and become the founding member of the KnoMe Personal Data Protocol Consortium, which I declare the following to be its Mission Statement:

The Mission of the KnoMe Personal Data Protocol Consortium is to empower people with greater control, ownership and manageability of their personal data, and to empower business and industry with greater consumer access, engagement and loyalty through the creation and fostering of a global standardized personal data formatting and transfer protocol, called “KnoMe”.

I invite any person who shares this vision and who is interested or inspired to contribute their knowledge, skills and/or expertise in service of realizing this vision, please indicate your interest in becoming involved in order to validate the “proof-of-interest” (Stage #1) of this project.

I look forward to creating this with you.

Paul Marek
Founding Member,
The KnoMe Personal Data Protocol Consortium
Founder / CEO,

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