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HATs approved by FCA

HAT Microservers have been approved by the UK FCA for use with banking data and spending

13 August, London | HAT Microservers ( have been formally approved by the FCA to hold consumer finance data like banking and spending information. The HAT Data Exchange platform ( successfully completed an approval process with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ( to be an Account Information Service Provider (AISP) for consumer’s banking information.

The HAT Data Exchange platform’s AISP approval gives consumers using HAT Microservers (HATs) the ability to pull banking data from services like Monzo, Revolut, and high street banking providers into their personal data accounts, adding payments and transactions data to their social, fitness, productivity, and mobile data as they wish. HAT owners have full data rights to license the information within their HAT to websites and applications through the HATDeX platform that ensures real time, on demand data sharing.

Finance data is expected to be made available to HAT-owning consumers in this way over the next two months, as administrative and security requirements of this new data type are met following the go-ahead from the regulator. By November 2019 it is anticipated that HAT owners and HAT-enabled websites and applications can benefit from finance data for day-to-day use.

Says HATDeX CEO, Professor Irene Ng, “FCA Approval is an acknowledgement that individuals themselves can own their data for re-use and re-sharing with HAT MIcroservers as personal data accounts. Our partner websites and applications in the HAT ecosystem will now be able to request for data and spending insights from their own customers which is a testament to the fact that we can have innovative and data rich services while preserving individual privacy and data rights.”

Want to create finance data applications on top of user-owned personal data shared directly to by your users themselves? Build with the HAT by visiting us online at or

NewsTheresa RabingBlog
CZ Investment taps HATDeX founder Dr. Xiao Ma, to investment board for Western Europe

Government-supported $66m private equity firm will invest in European technologies that integrate with the Hub of All Things

Dr. Xiao Ma, Commercial Director

Dr. Xiao Ma, Commercial Director

LONDON, UKHAT Data Exchange Ltd (HATDeX) founder and University of Warwick Senior Fellow Dr. Xiao Ma has been tapped to join the investment board of CZ Investments, a major development fund backed by the Chinese government.

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CZ Investments is looking at three investment categories through its $66 million Fund 1: BioTech, Manufacturing, and Digital Technologies focusing on the personal data economy. A healthy portion of the fund’s inaugural capital will be put into HAT-based innovations, as the data exchange, digital insight, and artificial intelligence landscapes evolve over the coming investment cycle. Dr. Ma, as the fund’s only scale-up-focused partner, is committing to investments in decentralized personal data projects built on Hub of All Things (HAT) micro-server technology. 

HAT micro-servers are a technology for the decentralised data economy. The micro-servers are owned by the citizen and can collect and store data for them wherever it’s created, unlocking opportunities in private AI, non-intrusive online advertising, and improved digital signaling and verified action. HATs improve companies’ access to their users’ data, giving them direct, real-time, on-demand, dynamic information that doesn’t violate customer expectations or intrude upon their privacy. Analogous to the bank account, the HAT micro-server is a data account that can be provided to citizens by the governments, hospitals, financial services, or technology providers, and each HAT can be used by an individual to reuse and re-share app data, increasing their power, control, and collective worth as a consumer.

CZ Investments expects to leverage their network of publicly-listed corporate backers and extensive policy expertise to grow HAT-based innovation in China and Western Europe. As a founder of the HAT Data Exchange Ltd and a non-executive Board Member of the China UK Business Association, Dr. Xiao Ma is uniquely positioned to expand the technology’s global reach, and his European role with CZ Investments is in addition to responsibilities he will hold with the private equity firm in China as a member of the investment committee. 

CZ Investments will appoint the HAT Accelerator, a global technology incubator due to launch in Q3 2018, to act as its exclusive European agent for engagement with early-stage businesses. Jointly, CZ Investments and the HAT Accelerator will pursue their vision for a decentralised personal data economy. Today, personal data is already worth billions, despite the issues of customer friction, regulation, analytics, and security that come with its use - and that are expected to be solved by HAT-technology-based decentralisation. 

Dr. Ma’s role with CZ Investments will prioritize the collection, use, and utilization of personal data around the technology end-user, the citizen, to enable new services like personalised products, preventative and on-demand medicine, sophisticated machine learning algorithms, and pervasive IoT. Dr. Ma is excited to be a part of the new capital deployment and is looking forward to helping European companies to better expand into the Chinese market.


About Dr Xiao Ma

Dr. Xiao Ma is a founder of the HAT Data Exchange Ltd and a non-executive Board Member of the China UK Business Association. An entrepreneur and an academic, he has also held Visiting Professor roles at the Inner Mongolia University and the University of Warwick. Dr. Ma studied at the Beijing Institute of Technology and University of Warwick, where he received his PhD in Engineering.


About HATDeX

HAT Data Exchange Ltd (HATDeX) is a commercial enterprise spun out from the RCUK £1.2m HAT research project (2013-2015) tasked to build the decentralised HAT Platform from the HAT open sourced core. From 2015-17, HATDeX built a suite of products (the HATDeX Technology Suite) to assist organisations in benefiting from decentralise personal data storage, processing and exchange by giving their own customers HAT private micro-servers. HATDeX is part of the HAT ecosystem managed by the HAT Community Foundation. To date, more than £10m HAT-related grants have been awarded to HAT partner universities.


About CZ Investments

CZ Investments is a private equity firm with $66m in assets under management for their early stage technologies Fund I. Supported by the Chinese government, who have a more than 10% stake ($14m GBP), the firm was founded on 26 December 2017 with a mission to invest in domestic and foreign assets in three categories: BioTech, High-Tech Manufaturing, and Digital Technologies. Based locally in China and with an expanding presence globally, they are pursuing investments in Western Europe primarily in digital technologies. CZ Investments aims to use their network and policy expertise towards expanding the available market segments for their foreign investments to include the Chinese market.


For more information about the HAT visit
For more information about the HAT Data Exchange visit 

For more information, please contact:
Jonathan Holtby
Community Manager, HATDeX
+44 (0) 7508 080295

Former Partner at Apollo Global Management LLC and HATDeX Announce New £30m Partnership Agreement

HAT Infrastructure Platform will buy HATs, grow infrastructure, and improve digital innovation in a decentralised personal data economy

CAMBRIDGE, UK | HAT Data Exchange Ltd (HATDeX) and Tolga Uzuner, global technology investor and former Partner at Apollo Global Management LLC, are pleased to announce the HAT Infrastructure Platform (HIP), a £30m planned commitment to fund at least 10m new HAT microservers, provisioning them for new apps and services, growing the technology infrastructure, and improving innovation in the decentralised data economy now through 2020.

HATDeX, a tech company, is the operator of the Hub of All Things (HAT) microserver and creator of a platform technology for the decentralised data economy.

As the tech industry moves to new information policies after the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandals, person-owned first party personal data is increasingly a better way of building apps and services. HAT microservers are owned by the individual and can collect and store data for them wherever it’s created, unlocking opportunities in private AI, non-intrusive online advertising, and improved insights HATs improve companies’ access to their users’ data too, giving them direct, real-time, on-demand, dynamic information that doesn’t violate customer expectations or intrude upon their privacy. Analogous to the bank account, the HAT microserver is a data account that can be provided to individuals by governments, hospitals, financial services, or technology providers, and each HAT can be used by an individual to reuse and re-share app data, increasing their power, control, and collective worth as a consumer.

The HIP is a newly-formed entity that will commit £30m investment ($42.78m USD) to create 10m premium HATs for its partners and clients. It is tasked with creating a digital infrastructure for the decentralised personal data economy, building the foundational layer of the burgeoning new resource of personal data that is owned by the individual. The HIP will further contribute to both HAT-enabled apps and private AI, and the server and the computing infrastructure to keep them competitive. It will form a part of the HAT Accelerator, a global technology accelerator due to launch in July 2018, pursuing a global vision of becoming the leading global strategic investor in this most valuable asset.

The personal data economy is worth billions, despite the customer friction and the regulatory, ethical, and security expenses that come with personal data use. Today, when companies own users’ personal information, it becomes difficult to share, update, understand, and benefit from. The HIP will help create technology that instead begins to centralize that data around the technology end-user; the citizen. Data that’s decentralized like this will become the world’s most valuable digital resource. When end-users are able to combine different types of data, new services will be created, which will be the key to next-generation technologies like personalised products, preventative and on-demand medicine, sophisticated machine learning algorithms, and pervasive IoT.

Says Dr Uzuner, “The data economy is an emerging digital economy. Digital services from fintech to health are lacking a crucial piece of infrastructure for personal data in the form of the HAT microserver. With it, they can benefit from better coordination and real-time recommendations, and they can create services using data they’ve never had access to before. Augmented intelligence especially, a combination of personal data and machine learning algorithms that private to the individual, will finally be a possibility with this technology, which I consider to be the future of the innovation economy.”

Dr Andrius Aucinas, CEO of HATDeX, sees the HAT Infrastructure Platform as an affirmation of the company’s vision for a new, decentralised personal data economy. “The HAT re-captures the original economic vision of the Internet,” he said. “Individuals cannot fully realise the value of new personalised services today, so constrained are they by the limitations of a technology ecosystem where all of our data is held by apps and technology giants. The HAT lets innovation thrive, empowering small app makers, SMEs, and organisations around the world to access personal data by just asking for it directly from their customers. HATs give individuals a chance to take back the control and the economic power that comes from the Internet, but in a way that creates value and opportunity for everyone.”


About Tolga Uzuner

Dr Tolga Uzuner

Dr Tolga Uzuner

Tolga Uzuner was with Apollo Global Management from 2013 to April 2018. Prior to that time, Dr. Uzuner was a Managing Director in the Chief Investment Office at JPMorganChase. Prior to that, Dr. Uzuner was a Director in the Fixed Income Group at Credit Suisse. Dr. Uzuner previously served on the boards of directors of Capital IQ, Consul, IP Unity, Ipanema, and Atoga. Dr. Uzuner graduated from MIT with a BS in Computer Science and Engineering, and a BS in Economics. He received a Master of Science in Finance from London Business School and received his PhD from the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of Kings College.


About HATDeX

HAT Data Exchange Ltd (HATDeX) is a commercial enterprise spun out from the RCUK £1.2m HAT research project (2013-2015) tasked to build the decentralised HAT Platform from the HAT open sourced core. From 2015-17, HATDeX built a suite of products (the HATDeX Technology Suite) to assist organisations in benefiting from decentralise personal data storage, processing exchange and AI by giving their own customers HAT personal microservers. HATDeX is part of the HAT ecosystem managed by the HAT Community Foundation. To date, more than £10m HAT-related grants have been awarded to HAT partner universities.


For more information about the HAT visit

For more information about the HAT Data Exchange visit


For more information, please contact:

Jonathan Holtby

Community Manager, HATDeX

+44 (0) 7508 080295

Dr. Tolga Uzuner

Dr. Andrius Aucinas, CEO

Prof. Irene Ng, Chairman

Theresa RabingBlog
HATDeX signs former Apple and Apollo Global Management executives to board roles

Tech challenger prepares to champion the decentralized data economy on a global stage

Tolga Uzuner

Tolga Uzuner

CAMBRIDGE, UK, 3 May 2018 | HAT Data Exchange Ltd (HATDeX), operator of the Hub of All Things (HAT) micro-server, has welcomed two new global executives to its advisory board. Tolga Uzuner is a global technology investor and former Partner at Apollo Global Management LLC, and Alan Greenberg is a former Director of Apple Education EMEA and Asia.

The appointments help the company position decentralised data as the future of the digital economy on a global stage. Alan Greenberg, who led the Apple team that built education podcasting and iTunes U, was the Head of Higher Education EMEA for three years and the Director of Solutions & Strategy Asia for two and a half. Alan is on the team at Eight Great Technologies, a specialist technology venture capital fund that worked to promote the growth of Sino-British tech companies during the PM’s 2018 trip to China, and he is a Fellow of the RSA in London, and a director, advisor and VC to a portfolio of education and healthcare startups.

Tolga Uzuner is a global technology investor with a reputation for identifying valuable assets in emerging economies. He was a Partner at Apollo Global Management from 2013 to April 2018, prior to which he was a Managing Director in the Chief Investment Office at JPMorganChase and a Director in the Fixed Income Group at Credit Suisse. Dr. Uzuner has served on the boards of directors of Capital IQ, Consul, IP Unity, Ipanema, and Atoga, has a BS in Computer Science and Engineering and a BS in Economics from MIT, a Master of Science in Finance from London Business School, and a PhD from the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge where he is a Fellow of Kings College.

Alan Greenberg

Alan Greenberg

HATDeX has created a platform technology championing the decentralised personal data economy. The tech industry is moving towards new information policies after the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandals, and person-owned personal data is now increasingly a better way to build apps and services. HATDeX’s HAT micro- servers are owned by the citizen and collect data from wherever it’s created, unlocking opportunities in private AI, non-intrusive online advertising, and improved digital signaling and verified actions, representing the future of the digital economy.

For more information about the HAT visit
For more information about the HAT Data Exchange visit

For more information, please email or our Community Manager, Jonathan Holtby at

Podcast with the Internet-of-Me: Wherever I lay my HAT

This is a podcast of Professor Irene Ng with Simon Carroll at the Internet of Me

The Hub of All Things (HAT) is on a mission to create a better internet that is better for people and businesses by putting fairer and more efficient Internet of Me spoke to Irene Ng, academic, economist and architect of the HAT to find out more.

Internet of Me: Explain what the HAT is and how it works.

Irene Ng: The easiest way to explain the HAT is to say that it is a private data account plus a private data exchange system. You have a private data account and that is a replacement of a user account for apps and services on the internet. We would like to see a new generation of apps and services where instead of a user account it would be your private data account where both the app and you can get access to the data.

The exchange system along with your personal data account means you will be able to push and pull data across the internet whenever you want – on-demand, real-time sharing with anybody you trust and also getting data from people who want to give it to you.

IoM: So what is the main problem in the world that the HAT solves?

IN: The main prob is economic power. Unless we are in control of our own information – and I don’t just mean our email address and passport numbers and identity stuff, I mean our own information, the words we use, the data we generate, the videos we watch – unless we have that in our reach and in our control it's very difficult for us collectively to have economic power to be able to steer what is happening in the internet economy.

So if we have our own HATs and they are all distributed, collectively we are in a better bargaining position for how our data is gong to be used on the internet.

IoM: You’ve talked before about creating a new kind of internet and the HAT being based on open source technology and internet protocols. How are these important to eth HAT philosophy?

It’s very important for me that the HAT is something you own. You have to legally own your database – not data, because it’s quite well established that you really have difficulty owning data. But it’s a database of your own and data at rest is within it, and then the legal ownership of the database is important.

It’s important for us because there is a legal framework around ownership which is property. If it is your property in the way your house is your property or your bag is your property, then there is a legal framework that means, for example, that when you die it’s part of your estate, there are ways you can treat it and for young people your data in there is in the guardianship of your parents.

The second issue we have is around being able to share a little or a lot. I might want to share with you just my location between 7 and 9 o’clock in the morning. You can then ping me a discount voucher for a coffee wherever I am. I don’t have to give you my email address and my whole identity. All you want is to sell coffee and I can just give you a bit of data for that.

The data exchange today on the internet is a little broken. Because we have to share data in the way that’s too lumpy – everything comes with an identifier. If you create an ecosystem and exchange where you can share as little or as much as you like with or without identity you can achieve the same thing.

IoM: Before the interview you talked about the idea of changing the internet and that at the moment it works for markets and not so well for us as users and consumers. Can you elaborate on that?

We look at the internet as being too commercial right now. We believe the internet should mirror civil society. In civil society we have government places, community places, private places and commercial places. Well, the internet isn’t like that. On the internet everything is commercial. You’re renting someone’s spaces the moment you get on there. It’s either a Google space, or a WhatApp space or a Facebook space or an Amazon space. Where is just the public road where I can go and hang out with my friends that’s not policed by a corporation? Where’s my private conversation between me and someone else?

So by building the HAT, which is a distributed system and not centralised, you have your own micro server data account. You will be able to liaise with someone else as a service to service and that makes the internet better because it creates the ability to create private conversations, community conversations, and public conversations as well as commercial conversations.

IoM: At the HAT launch event at the Shard in London in May you challenged the front page headline in The Economist that said data is the new oil, suggesting it was more like renewable energy. Is that part of the HAT philosophy?

As an economist, one of the things that always strikes me is that the marginal cost of duplicating data is really zero. You can fill in the form again and again. Why do we still keep filling forms? Why is it when we check into the hotel or go anywhere we keep filling forms? It’s because we don’t have a place of our own where we can put the data and just synchronise for someone to send us the bill and then just delete the data.

I therefore take the analogy that It is much more like renewable energy – I can reuse and reuse my data but only because I am the source. The reason data is the new oil is that it’s seen from the point of view of the corporation which is ‘well there is lots of oil I can only use it under certain circumstances and you can’t really reuse it unless you get my permission’. I, however, can reuse my information again and again. So we are trying to correct what the economy really should be on the internet which should be controlled by source.

IoM: Is this idea of a shift a reality of is it just something people working in the personal data arena perceive?

I think in 2018 it will be a reality. We are incubating some 32 startups. They have come to us because they don’t want to build user accounts. They don’t want to build a whole stack and think about personal data containment and the risk and all that. They say can just use the HAT instead.

The HAT is an enabling infrastructure for that to happen but you can choose who provisions the HAT for you. Quite a number of startups are starting to build on this because we actually save them a lot of money and we are much more efficient because once you’ve built on the private data account you just build the service – you don’t have to build all the plumbing behind it.

And – this is really important – you actually have a relationship directly with the user and their data and not with a third party organisation that holds the data.

IoM: That idea of super personalisation and a direct customer relationship is the Holy Grail. Corporations already use our data to try and personalise their offers but it’s not usually on our terms. Do you think businesses will see the value and opportunity in empowering the consumer enough to take control of their data?

I think they do. I don’t blame corporations for grabbing a lot of data. After all for more than 60 years businesses have been told ‘get to know your customers’. Well, they just took it on and they really know you very well now, and they keep trying to get to know you very well. But they do it in such a way that maybe they ride roughshod over privacy and all sorts of things. Many of them didn’t do it well.

Really getting to know your customer is when your customer is willing to share with you so that you can personalise your offering. Even as a large corporation, what do you have of me? If you are a supermarket you have my buying data but you won’t have much else.

So this is actually growing the personal data economy to make companies better than the mechanism they are using right now.

IoM: The next question was going to be whether a shift in control and agency over personal data would be a push or a pull – a push in the form of some cataclysmic breach or a pull in digital products that are simply better. It sounds like you believe it will be the latter.

Many people ask me what is the outcome you want, ‘what can I do with my HAT?’ The answer we’re trying to get to is we want to be able to say when you have your HAT you can do everything on the internet you can currently do. That means there is a calendar that sits on the private data account, there is messaging that sits on the private data account, there are all kinds of different services. The way we want consumers to win is to say that private data account services are better than non-private services.

If you look at what the internet is right now – these are non-private data account services. They are user accounts set within corporations. We want to be able to compete with them and say private data account services are better because you can mix and match and create different services that are better than the current services out there.

IoM: Will that make the bigger companies wake up to this new opportunity or are they already looking at what startups are doing in this space?

IN: The future internet is going to have a whole lot more data. When the Internet of Things comes into play – your hairdryer is connected, your TV is connected – you get a lot more data. In private data accounts distributed through different people we will be in a position to share more for greater personalisation. Even if you are the largest company in the world you cannot possibly control every single item and device I own. The largest entity that should be able to control it in a distributed way is me. All of me is actually quite small, but collectively we are quite big.

If you think about the corporations like Google or Samsung or any company they should welcome this because with private data accounts they are in a position to say ‘if you could share with me that bit of data I’ll give you this bit of service which they can’t say now because they have to keep building.

Instead f everybody building soloed services to grab more of your data lets come together – that’s what the startups and HAT foundation group does – and say ‘we all benefit when users control their data. All you have to do is ask them for it.

IoM: you mentioned IoT - more devices sending our data into cloud - AI & ML is this all a solution to sheer amount of data

The world will have to move away from centralised systems governed by a few to complete de-centralisation of data governed by all of us individually but having some kind of collective power to be able to share and exchange in a data economy.

IoM: tech giants big 4 often painted as villains - vast data, T&cs, utility of offer - too simplistic to say that- innovators. Could they be part of the solution? Could they use scale to empower and give back?

This is exactly where I think they have a huge role to play. I don’t think of them as villains. As I said, we have told companies ‘get to know your customer’. They have done that. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with what they’ve done. What they have suffered from is the consequences of getting know your customer and the scale at which they’ve done it. It alarmed people in terms of the scope of data they’ve ended up collecting. In a way if they redistribute it back to ourselves and we share it back to them – Google does great maps Facebook does great social media they are constantly improving what they do –  but even as a company they can’t swallow up that much data so if you think about how they would look at the future of the PDE they would actually benefit from it better because they are poor custodians of our data. While they collect a lot of it they are interested in the services not really to be custodians.

If we became our own custodians we would use it better. We would be able to will it to the social good and social cause when we are dead, we would be able to combine it and do better things and buy services with it. I think that would be a better world, even for them.

IoM: GDPR is less than a year away. We’re told an earthquake is coming. What do you think of it as a piece of legislation? It must be great platforms like HAT which solve a lot of GDPR problems.

I believe the GDPR is a great piece of legislation, for a few reasons. There’s a lot of ambiguity and that needs to be finessed and refined over time. But I think the most compelling aspect of GDPR is to compel companies who hold our data in their own environments to give access rights back – not give back ownership because it’s nebulous to talk about ownership – but to give me the right to access my own data. That’s where the HAT and private data accounts in our ecosystem will do really well.

Europe is less than a year away from unleashing one of the biggest raw materials that will spawn the next generation of apps. I think it will actually spur innovation. It might not be thought of as such, it’s probably more thought of as a rights issue and fairness issue, but actually I think of it much more as an innovation and opportunity issue both for companies and individuals, and for startups to really build the next generation of the internet.

IoM: Are businesses prepared enough?

Not at all. No one is prepared for something that is spawned by legislation. Personal data is very opaque - what do you mean by PD? Passport number? Email address? Your height? Your profile photo? Your words? Because it’s heterogenous in terms of quantity and quality you're not talking about something that’s homogenous, you’re not talking about money – how much money you have or how little yo know the value - those with more have greater value, those with less have less value - but with data you can’t. You might have a lot of rubbish data or you might have a little really good quality data, but nobody really knows until it is applied into a context that informs a decision.

The raw material itself is like a bit of carbon, diamonds in the rough. Really just black chunks of things that are going to be unleashed under GDPR. It depends on the innovation, the service that polishes it up into a shiny diamond that makes it really valuable so you would use it – or it just stays as a black lump of coal.

I think GDPR will make the value of personal data clearer in the way that the startups and services are going to use it for awesome services using all the AI and bots and whatever, especially if they build it inside the HAT and completely privacy preserving.



UncategorisedIrene NgBlog
A new data infrastructure for personal data exchanges

Privacy could be unworkable.

One of the paradoxes of a privacy-preserving data exchange is that users can be private to the point that the exchange is unworkable. The analogy goes like this: think of your HAT as a private cabin in the woods. You get your privacy, but if you do not have a way of communicating with others, no one will know that you have bins to empty, or need logs or fuel to warm the cabin, or even if you wish to talk to someone. You are private, but that privacy has cut you off from the rest of the world. And no wi-fi either. You are truly. Very. Private.

With today's Internet, of course, you are not at all private, as someone is always watching you and you are never in your own private cabin. When you sign up for an Internet service, they create an account for you, which is like giving you a little space in their common room, usually with a camera installed! Sometimes your landlord even knows what you want before you even want it. You are. Not. Private.

Privacy and Anonymity

Some people think that the solution might be anonymity. So you get to sit in the corner of someone's common room, but you can mask yourself. Sometimes, that could work. But anonymity generates a whole host of other problems because when you think you're anonymous, you have an incentive to behave badly. We think there is a different way. One where you can be private, but not anonymous. Much like the way we are in physical life.

Privacy AND Internet Services

To create a world where you can have privacy and Internet services, we have to create specialist software to retrieve and share your HAT data in a way that ensures privacy. To use the analogy, it means someone checking in with you at your cabin and asking if you have any items to share or give away, and to whom. It's like a concierge service that runs to all the cabins in the woods (the HATs), passes messages (data) to the right people from the right people according to instructions, and also collects other messages (data) to give to organisations, if you wish. And the concierge service makes sure that the data is completely encrypted, private, and that he, the concierge, does not benefit from looking at the messages at all. In other words, to operate the HAT ecosystem, HATDeX has to create new ways of exchanging data, incentivising sharing but with no peeking, and make them the defacto standard for all HAT providers and services so that everyone can benefit. HATDeX services are therefore set up to do just that. We create these services so that our HAT Application Providers can use the exchange to build a whole range of new services: from really simple services based on calendar, notes and messaging, to really complex but awesome Internet services around your data, such as bots and artificial intelligence, whilst always conforming to these new privacy-preserving data exchange standards on the HAT ecosystem.

The next phase of the Internet

We do this not because we want to rebuild the Internet, but because we think that with even more devices connected to the Internet, this new way of exchanging data will help dispel fears, rebuild trust, create better services and help the digital economy to grow. We like to think that we are building the next phase of the Internet.

Implementing new processes and standards for privacy preserving data exchange

Our services run on 4 platforms. [table id=12 /]

UncategorisedIrene NgBlog
HATDeX - A Review of the Year 2016

What a year this has been. Back in February, when the HAT project ended, and was passed from the 6 Universities to the HAT Foundation, we knew that translating 6 briefing papers, developing the tech and implementing the design principles into an actual ecosystem was going to be a challenge of huge proportions. 2016 was the year we embraced the challenge. 2016 was the move from design to implementation; from concept to capability. From the written word to reality.

2016 was the beginning of a very hard journey.

To begin with, how do we make it real? Much of what the HAT is conceptual. The IDEA was so appealing that the reality must surely disappoint. How does one make control, empowerment and privacy with personal data real, visual and tangible? What does it mean when we tangibilize it? How does it feel like? look like? I felt, often during the year, that we were building something to meet the expectations of so many, that we were obviously doomed to fail. It was like making a movie of a book that everyone had imagined differently in their minds. Here's a chronological account of our thought processes. TL;DR perhaps, but we felt we needed to document it!

February 2016: Building the digital body container, avatar, whatever. I guess we have to start somewhere. Little steps right? We knew we had to keep the idea of the HAT separated from the services that used it. Even if we were building the services as well. So.... practice what we preached. To us, the HAT is a person's digital body. It had its own set of APIs and so could connect with different services, but the HAT was a digital embodiment of the person; owned, controlled and empowering the person, and was therefore the most sacred entity. We wanted a world that respected that. And we wanted a world that built services to respect that. So we built the HAT with containers, so that there are clear legal and technical boundaries. (See tech and security architecture). And technically containerising HATs also made it portable, so that the individual would never be held captive by any HAT provider. We also started to embed the containers in the cloud, using Amazon web services, ensuring, every step of the way, that no one could peek into the HAT, without the individual allowing it. And all other services that used data on the HAT, were all separated from it, and communicated with it through a set of HAT protocols.

March 2016: Indiegogo - were there others that thought like us? We launched Indiegogo campaign to see if there were other like-minded people. And by 16 April, we hit the target of £50k. Great. Now, some 300+ people want HATs and are supporting us and we still have no idea how it looks like. Building continues....Faith is a wonderful thing...

May 2016: Can we see this HAT thing, please? We started building the HAT's first service. - Rumpel, the HAT dashboard. Gus joined the team, together with Mike, who designed the UI. Rumpel finally allowed a user to 'SEE' his HAT and made a HAT tangible for the first time. We can click on something. We can see our data. Yay us....

Rumpel brought in a whole new set of problems. Yes, there were 11 design principles from the research. But so many other questions remained. If it was a dashboard for HAT data, how should it be presented? Would users be happy to see their own data when they see it? How does it look like on the HAT that could be different from how it looked like where the data came from? What was the point of it? Stop shouting 'use case' at us! We're still building the platform! With Rumpel came the invention of new 'terms' that didn't exist on the Internet, but needed to have a name. Like data exchanges. How should it feel like? Should it feel like the way we exchange money? Or should it feel like the way we fill forms to give our information away? At some point we thought about the people who invented modern banking and invented terms like direct debit, standing orders, credit and debits - who named them? Naming became an obsession for us. Naming something that was too alien wouldn't help with adoption. Naming it too close to what exists risk misunderstanding it.

Then came MarketSquare. The principle business model of the HATDeX was to facilitate data exchanges, so MarketSquare was crucial for HATDeX. Even though it had a web front end, many of the middleware services on the HAT ecosystem (e.g. collecting, sorting, allocating metadata) had to be built before any service could be built on the HATs. That meant we had to name and explain again. Data debits describe the way data is exchanged. Data offers for those wanting data, data plugs for data coming into the platform. DeXter was the service that crawled the system to find out which HAT wanted to share what data with whom. HAT2WEB posted stuff from HAT to websites..... argghhhh! We could just hope that everyone can understand what they are. Even in simplifying, we needed to think about how to educate through interactions. We felt the weight of our own aspirations. Like an albatross over the neck....

June 2016: ANOTHER sprint? Many sprints at HAT central. Thanks to those who fed and watered us. Loads of late night discussions. And of course alcohol.

July 2016: Release? And Crashed! We have something half decent but very buggy and released HAT and Rumpel to 136 beta users. Boy was that a disaster. Half didn't understand what the HAT was meant to do, the other half couldn't get it to work. We worked through it. Bug by bug. Functionality by functionality. Created some screen tutorials. Probably alienated quite a few people who wanted something more 'polished'.

We knew the dashboard and the exchange infrastructure was completing soon, and it was time to design the first ervice on the HAT that could show how it would be useful (even though minimally) and would serve as the first point of adoption for users and yet showed what the platform could do that was different from others. Yes, yes... it's use case time.....

Shout this out loud to feel the frustration of the HAT product team: "It's the person's digital body. If you want me to tell you the use case, why don't you tell me what your physical body's use case is. Have you figured out what you're put on this earth for?"

Our CEO very calm response to the product team....." we do need just ONE......."

Point taken. Humph. The thing about inventing something is that there really aren't many useful guidelines on how to create something new. We felt like artists with a colour palette and a blank canvas. Time for long bike rides.

August 2016: Notables born. At last we had ONE. It wasn't perfect, but it was something. It meant we took a very different turn with personal data. We came to the conclusion that personal data as we knew it was the most boring thing in the world and went towards personal data that was more meaningful. Words. Numbers. Images. And we started with words. Notables was born. With Notables, we felt it ticked the boxes to show off the platform. There was meaning in the personal data (you see your own words). There was sharing (posting on social media). And there could be analysis (with sentiment bots for mental health for example) for both the user to benefit and for sharing with others. That meant a singular use case for the HAT to go into the public domain that could demonstrate what a HAT-enabled future could be about. It also meant people might just use it.

September 2016: Getting interest.... We had conversations with potential HAT providers. An insurance company. A bank. Things were moving. It's amazing how things move when you can touch and feel something.

November 2016: Wider release... Marios joins us to build the iOS app Rumpel Lite. We released a proper working application on web and on iOS for HAT and Rumpel w/Notables. We further fine tuned our message. And on the data plugs side, we were bringing in Facebook, Calendar, Location, Twitter, LinkedIn and others....

All through the year, we battled with how we should describe the HAT in simple ways, without dumbing it down too much. Personal data wallet, personal data platform, personal data server,..... so many terms came and went... until someone said - why not just call it a HAT :D. In the end, we stuck with personal data store to describe what it is, but committed to calling it a HAT and to make it our mission to get everyone to call it a HAT. One. full. circle.


December 2016: Ready now....The platform is finally ready to start scaling in the new year, and we move into the next phase of getting market traction and next round of Angel funding. The HATs in the backend are being optimized for resource usage and the system stress tested. Based on conversations, 2-3 HAT providers will come online next year offering HATs to their customers and HATs will begin the scaling up.

The year was more art than science. As a multi-sided platform, we knew we had to have a proposition for firms and for individuals that was beyond just privacy and control. We now have it for both. Firms here. Individuals here. We knew we had to mimic services on the Internet and yet create something that didn't yet exist. We had to do it visually and with interactions. It had to achieve an outcome where the user feels familiar interacting with it, but yet feels he is doing something completely new, and yet useful. If the interaction was too new, it would deter the user from clicking on it. If it was too familiar, the user may not feel any different from another Internet service that used and abused their data. We called the build strategy a combination of mimicry and scaffolding. We mimic the old, to scaffold the user into the new.

After a year of coding, designing, eating, drinking, sprinting and fixing bugs; a year of long bike rides, cucumber water, train travels, HAT central cooking, barbecues, pubs, wet socks (the team's term for a 'not-quite-there' product) and a lot of arguing, we've built it. With the platform now built, we know we have to incentivise the creation of day-to-day use of services on the Internet - calendar, social media, emails, chats, browsing - so that privacy seeking individuals have a choice, a choice of bringing control back to themselves while still getting the same services they now have on the Internet. A platform that, as Internet users, we never had (and therefore it was easy to exploit us, data wise). We are optimistic because advances in tech are on our side. Our community can build services faster and better because HAT centric Internet services could actually mean better Internet services than the current ones. With the HAT technical infrastructure now built, we can look forward to services that not only consolidate our own data for messaging, for calendars or for browsing, we can bring in more data - IoT data, finance, health and other data that the Internet currently doesn't have. We can build AI bots on our data and other cool services. We do not need to rely on apps built on GAFA for services. There is now a choice. For future app builders and future Internet Services.

We have built the capability we talked about in the last 3 years.

The HAT is both a tech and a economic/business model innovation. The HAT is now beyond slide ware, books, papers, and power points. It now exists. A full iOS app and web version will be released in January 2017 and marketing will start. 2017 will finally be the time for HAT services. And community. We would like to involve the community of app makers, startups, digital natives, and liberal-minded individuals who believe in personal data empowerment, and who believe in an Internet that is very different from what it is today. A world where many firms would build services on HATs because there are more revenues in data exchanges than selling data for advertising. Most of all, we want to build a community of people who wanted a change from this data exploitation regime that the Internet economy has become. We are clearly a David amongst Goliaths, but we can only try.

2017 would probably tell us if we can succeed. Happy New Year from the HATDeX team.

What do I do with my HAT?

So you've got your HAT, what do you do now? I thought I'll pen a few notes to help you get started. First thing I did was to go to Rumpel, my private dashboard. On the top corner, you will see 'New to Rumpel'. Click on it and it will give you an overview of what you can do on Rumpel. I did the tutorial just to be a little familiar with Rumpel but I was really very impatient to get into things. Thankfully, it wasn't a long tutorial.

Data Plugs

First thing I did was to pull in my data. I brought in my Facebook data, my calendar data (you need to bring in an iCAL link), and I have an iOS phone, so I downloaded the Rumpel Lite app and yay! I have my location synchronised with my HAT! And I also linked my HAT to all the photos on dropbox.


Identity Management

PHATA (click here to learn what is PHATA)! PHATA is my personal HAT address and I set up my PHATA page by going to the profile page on Rumpel. A few clicks where I decide what is public and what is private and I have my own PHATA page! No more telling everyone my LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter,.....from now on I just say 'you can find me on my HAT at'. My PHATA page is also where I can see the apps that use my HAT data and the data plugs I've brought in. Move aside plain old websites, I have my own microserver now!



I like to click around my mashup. I get to see where I've been and what I've been up to, which is great to keep a record of my history. Now if only I can get search and some smart services on this.... (coming soon?)



After browsing around Rumpel, I thought I'll head out to the second service: MarketSquare! I went to the Notables@MarketSquare and read some of the public broadcasted notes from other HATTERs - everyone looked like they're having fun. So I tried to post a note myself from Rumpel. I went to Notables to write something, setting it to be shared and it not just came out on MarketSquare, it was on my PHATA page as well! I can now use my HAT as a blog as well, which is cool. All my words in one place!


I'm certainly using it to life log private thoughts, shopping lists and also post public blogs and notes as well. And I love it that it has my history, my words and my data that I can buy services for later. Can't wait for more services! You can check out our product plans here.


Grab Your Data

Signup and grab your HAT personal data manager today!

Hub of all things Data Exchange going into
Hub of all things Data Exchange going into

Today’s world of connected things and connected people is propelling us towards the Internet-of-Everything. But is it really giving us better organisation and coordination of our lived lives1. No, not really. Because we can’t actually connect our data nor look at it all together. Only HAT allows this. With HAT we can control and combine our data in any way we want, in any way that makes sense to us and see it in these combinations with Rumpel, the world’s first “hyper-data browser”.

But there’s more. HAT is unique in then allowing us to permit the exchange of data with others – for fun or social purpose, or with companies so that they can properly understand our needs and make offers that are actually useful. HAT helps us make better decisions about the way we live our lives, and allows us to get best value from our personal data through the permitted exchange with others.

Our digital footprint

We spend 60 percent of our time on media – more than sleeping – and spend much of this time generating data for others about our lives. We place more and more data about ourselves “on the internet”– with firms who are providing services to us. And firms are collecting very much more data on us as well – from public surveillance to the smart devices in our homes. Every one of us has a huge digital footprint. Not only are we becoming increasingly concerned about the privacy, security, and confidentiality of our own data, but we get almost no value from it.2

Moreover, the firms that collect our data get relatively little value from it themselves whilst having a significant liability to keep it safe. Quite rightly, they can’t use private data for any other purpose, and public or anonymised meta-data – “big data” – can really only give insights about basic trends. Wouldn’t it be great for both us as well as for firms if we could combine our data to give real insight into the way we live our lives?

Unleash the value of your data!

As individuals, we need to realise that our data has value to those that collect it from all our actions on the Internet, including our interaction with the IoT. But it has a lot more value to us; to understand our wants and actions in the context of our lives to make better decisions, get better deals, and enhance our engagement with our friends and society as a whole. We can only release this value if we can collect, control and configure our data and permit its exchange, allowing others to see selected elements under strict conditions of confidentiality and trust.

What if we had the power of our own data?

What if every one of us had a secure platform/server that allows us to do this? One that gives us the computational ability to organise our inventory, lifestyles, calendar – our digital assets – to help us make better decisions in our lives. A platform that enables us to retain control of how we share our data with whomever we choose, and synchronise across all IoT devices, firms and internet services in a secure and privacy-preserving manner.

The power or your own personal HAT of data!

This is what the HAT offers. Developed through a UK government-funded research project, the HAT (or Hub-of-All-Things) is a multi-sided platform for personal data created to enable individuals to collect their own data through IoT-enabled objects and to control and combine it in any way, to be creative in mixing it up to provide new perspectives on our lives and the way we live them. This personal data, or any of the “mash-ups” of it, can then be shared in a privacy-preserving manner. This not only helps us make better and more informed decisions in our lives, but also allows companies to offer us more personalised and customised offerings.

Join the HAT personal data movement!

As individuals we need to recognise the value in our data. This value can be realised if we are able to collect, control and configure our data, and exchange selected elements of it with others under strict conditions of confidentiality and trust.

The HAT can help you do this. Grab your data now by signing up for your own HAT and support the revolution:

Paul Tasker:

Chief Executive, co-founder and director at HAT Data Exchange Ltd

Full profile here: LinkedIn: Facebook:

  1. Ofcom said UK adults spend an average of eight hours and 41 minutes a day on media – estimate 60 percent daily activity) devices, compared with the average night's sleep of eight hours and 21 minutes- reported in Ofcom annual communications study 2015
  2. UK Digital catapult research commentary – “Understanding the benefits of personal data” 65 percent personal data and trust- 65 percent consumers unclear of their data ownership of use. Trust of personal data will hinder use of personal data