The plan: how to make access requests easier, together

In this post, I want to detail how we can quickly gain more transparency on processing of our personal data, which is the first goal in a larger plan. As @juli rightfully points out, this might not be the only way to do things. So I join her in encouraging you to post your ideas here.

The process of making requests for access to your personal data (sometimes called Subject Access Request or SAR) is long, difficult, and often lonely.

The theory is that this process should be effortless. In practice, we are currently far from that. Indeed, the process requires a lot of expertise: a legal mind, some good understanding of how data is used in the industry, and some flair for activism and communications.

This is because as an individual affected you often want to:

  • understand how a decision about you is taken;
  • understand which personal data underpins this decision;
  • formulate a legal demand for this data;
  • reshare in the most effective way what you have learned.

The plan is to lower these barriers by enabling the sharing of expertise, in an iterative way. For instance if the techno-legal minds can get together, they can prepare all that is needed for the activist types to move forward.

In practice we suggest to do this through a wiki, of a slightly different kind: a collaboratively edited knowledge base that anyone can edit. See also Why a wiki?.

Our instance of this is https://wiki.personaldata.io .

We will present in a separate post the example of Uber, which should help align many of us at once.

3 Likes