|Sector||Cybersecurity and Privacy|
|Industrial||Software & Services|
|Business type||Limited Liability Company|
|Year Founded||October 2015|
|City, State||Cambridge, England|
|Number of employees||15|
|Sponsorship Level||Of Interest|
Operator of data server infrastructure technology that decentralises the legal ownership of data to individuals and organizations, enabling data storage and handling at lower costs and risks, and enabling data networks to be form between individuals and organisations, thus improving interactions and coordination for the benefit of everyone and society.
|A new paradigm for Self Sovereign Identity with “Bring your Own” Know-Your-Customer (KYC) through self-credentialisation|
The company was formed as a spin out company from the 6 U.K. Universities £1.2m UK Research funded Hub-of-All-Things (HAT) Project. It was formed alongside the HAT Community Foundation (HCF), whom, with independent board members, serve as the regulator of Dataswift.
The company is a tech-enabled economic solutions company that operates the infrastructure technology platform that provision data servers on demand, effectively decentralising the legal ownership of the data to natural persons (individuals) and legal persons (corporations). This then enable data networks to form through “Data Passports” and “Merchant Data Terminals”. Organisations can decentralise storage of personal data they hold of their customers into a “Personal Data Account” (PDA) within the individual’s server; thus enabling (1) the individuals to have access and control of their own data for ethical, compliance and regulatory purposes, (2) the organisation to obtain value from not having to store the data and yet derive value from it (3) efficiently enabling their own customers to share that data with their partner organisations, and (4) enable the organisation to monetise their customer’s data legally via their customers own choice to share their data for their own benefit. The technology is a combination of a technical, legal and governance policy stack for approving contracts generated on demand in the network between individuals and applications/websites of organisations under the regulatory oversight of the HAT Community Foundation.
Dataswift One. Dataswift deployed the open sourced HAT Microserver into the cloud and built the technical and legal services to enable the scalable provision of Personal Data Servers on demand, and to enable on-demand legal contracts to be set up for applications/websites access into specified namespaces of the databases (the Personal Data Accounts). Contracts are pre-set up under a governance framework before an Application can go live on the platform. The wrapping of technical, legal and governance services is a patented technology of Dataswift’s personal data management infrastructure called Dataswift One, enabling developers to integrate Personal Data Accounts (PDAs) as the back-end storage of their own apps the way they are able to do the same with centralised systems. PDAs provide authentication, file storage, per-user databases, and serverless "edge-AI" functions via API to enable Applications to have greater choices in their privacy-by-design architectures and design patterns that combine centralised and decentralised systems. Dataswift provide developers with infrastructure (compute, storage, database), APIs, and SDKs to build apps that are compliant with strict new privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA. Dataswift One also enables secure and legal transactions and sharing of sensitive personal data through the individual by being able to transform third and first party data to zero party data for licensing by individuals themselves.
Data Passport System. The Data Passport system is a suite of technical services that builds on Dataswift One’s decentralised capability to enable organisations to create data networks. It comprises of 3 services - (1) Data Connector Services to bring source data into PDAs, (2) A Data Passport Service to display data within a consumer app and (3) a Merchant Data Terminal Service to receive data from a PDA when the individual shares it. The Data Passport issuer create Data Passes - a description of a bundle of data within a PDA that can attract complementary services (offers) from partners within a network, usually called a Merchant. Should a user wishes to go to the merchant and accept their offer, the merchant will benefit from the audience, the data, or both. Any data transaction would result in a licensing of the PDA data described on the Data Pass from the individual to the merchant.
Dataswift Prime. Dataswift One’s sister platform for Organisations with their own Organisation Data Servers. This platform is part of Dataswift’s Enterprise Solution with Economic and Business Model Frameworks for centralised, decentralised and distributed data architectures to assist enterprises in creating value with data.
Governance and Business Model
Data stored within Personal Data Accounts on the Dataswift One platform is out of scope of global data regulations due to individuals being the data controllers and processors of their own data. Hence, a governance and regulatory framework was put in place, guided by the original research project on how the ecosystem should be organised, managed and regulated. This is part of the "institutional rearrangement" of the ecosystem using a combination of technology, markets and regulatory controls.
The company is governed on 2 levels by HCF. At the corporate level, HCF owns a guardian share of Dataswift and sits on its board, to ensure directors perform their fiduciary duty to uphold Dataswift’s complementary social purpose “to operate for the public benefit, a digital exchange for the exchange of personal information including data processing, hosting and related activities”. At the operational level, HCF has oversight over Dataswift One Platform through the Platform Management Committee that decides on any changes to various Platform policies, technical artefacts (e.g. APIs) and risk assessment of data contracts. Dataswift cannot set up the contracts between Application owners and server owners if risks fall outside approved parameters set by the governance framework and the approval of the contract (and hence the app) would have to be escalated to HCF. Where there is ambiguity in contracts, the HCF Ethics Board would have to be consulted. Application owners have recourse to appeal to HCF in the unlikely event that a contract to use a PDA is denied. All PDS owners are members of HCF when they own a PDS and all Application owners are corporate members of HCF when their app goes live. As a consequence of the legal and governance framework, Dataswift is able to be a fully commercial enterprise to scale its infrastructure and build new networks and markets that have not been possible before.
The Governance and Business Model of Dataswift was informed by the following grants:
The original hub-of-all-Things HAT Project, Digital Economy 'New Economic Models' Network+, EP/K003542/2 (grant amount £580k), British Academy-SAMS Small Research Grant: Smart City and Smart Citizens: New Business and Economic Models of Urban Living, EP/L023911/1, (Grant Amount £10k), Control and Trust as Moderating Mechanisms in addressing Vulnerability for the Design of Business and Economic Models (ConTriVE), EP/N028422/1 (Grant amount=£1m), RCUK/EPSRC Research in the Wild: Smart Me versus Smart Things: The Development of a Personal Resource Planning (PRP) System through Human Interactions with Data Enabled by the IoT (Grant amount=£485k)
The Data Passport issuer networks designed and implemented by Dataswift is a combination of technical code, “institutional” work and market design. The system architecture incorporates technical service oriented architecture, institutional rearrangements and the redesign of economic data transactions and its locations. This enable a two-sided network to form for every Data Passport issuer from within their own consumer app. This two-sided network can be used by a Data Passport Issuer as an advertising network, a loyalty program with partners, a data sharing collaboration (e.g. collaborative credit scores), a data marketplace, or a health services network (e.g. coordinated health campaigns) to complement the issuer's existing app. The model essentially enables Dataswift to provide network-as-a-service to consumer apps, enabling consumer app owners to derive greater income from creating a data network with their partners.
The Economic Model of the Dataswift ecosystem was informed by the following grants:
ACCEPT: Addressing Cybersecurity and Cybercrime via a co-Evolutionary aPproach to reducing human-relaTed risks, EP/P011896/1 (Grant amount=£1m), RCUK Dynamic, Real Time, On-Demand Personalisation for Scaling (DROPS) EP/R033838/1 (Grant amount £1.1m), Alan Turing Institute Fellowship 2019-21 (grant amount £45k) and the Eastern New Energy European Regional Development Fund project.
Dataswift has obtained $5m in private funding. In 2019, a seed round of $2.4m was led by IQ Capital, a deep tech investor in Cambridge, UK.