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BBC unveils personal data centralisation box

BBC Box can be used to build user profiles

BBC R&D have unveiled the BBC Box, a prototype device that centralises user data.

The project forms part of the BBC’s endeavour to explore what potential services the broadcaster can provide people in the future linked to their personal data.

Powered by a Raspberry Pi computer and the Databox personal data management system, the BBC Box is a home device that pulls together personal data from a range of sources – with the participant’s explicit permission.
Personal data is stored locally on the box’s hardware. From here it can be processed and added to by other programmes running on the box – “much like apps on a smartphone.”
According to the BBC, this could be used to build “a profile of the sort of TV programmes someone might like or the sort of theatre they would enjoy… potentially helping generate otherwise unattainable insights by, for example, combining data from TV viewing history, social media activity, and a fitness tracker.”

The BBC added that the project could unlock the potential of new public services based on data portability, active mediation of the open internet and secure, decentralised communication.

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