The HAT was developed through more than £3m RCUK Digital Economy-funded research projects involving six universities: Cambridge, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Surrey, Warwick, and UWE with the view of giving economic power and control back to individuals through Private ‘Microserver’ Data Accounts (PMDAs). These grant users the ability to analyse, use and combine their data. This data can be shared in a privacy-preserving manner, even without identifiers, for services that empower individuals to make better and more informed decisions in their lives, and allow companies to offer more personalised and customised services.

How HATs are different

Legally owned, fully controlled by individuals:

  • The HAT microserver is a powerful service with the individual’s own Personal HAT Address (PHATA) as a public profile e.g.
  • Legal ownership of the account database as property, and therefore part of the individual’s estate. Individuals can donate their data to research or be a guardian of their child’s data as a minor
  • Legally act as a data controller and processor of the data in their HATs, so they can request for data legally, instead of through a third party service
  • The HAT provider is an ‘agent’, and individuals can move their HAT database to other HAT Providers (or bring it into their own private PC)

A revolutionary way of conducting data exchanges on the Internet:

  • Accept a data exchange of any kind, and of any size, be it a single location point, a tweet, or a review of a product through a note
  • Accept a data exchange without revealing identity, e.g. shopping list or location, to get personalised recommendations while remaining private

What problem does the HAT solve

  • Economic power. Being in control of their own data, individuals can collectively bargain for how and where the data is used
  • Efficiency for individuals. The ability to use their data again and again to fill in forms, or get personalised recommendations
  • Private by default. Individuals may not be able to control the data that is already out there, but they can control the data they have on their HATs.
  • Reduce privacy risks. Exchange data for as long as individuals want to, e.g. to check into a hotel, or to post a notice on social media, and stop exchanging when the other party no longer needs it.

What opportunities do HATs give

  • Stimulate innovation in the data economy. New data services/apps can be created, which are privacy preserving without the need to build user accounts
  • Build trust. New privacy-preserving data driven apps that do not need identity can be created.
  • Reduce privacy leaking. HAT to HAT interactions can be completely private without leaking information or data to a third party service

How will HATs be rolled out

The HAT Community Foundation aim to make user accounts obsolete. A new generation of apps and web services are coming up through HAT Innovation, organised by the HAT Community Foundation, which will be using HATs as user accounts. The apps can have personal data. And so will individuals.

Can individuals control the data once they share it

Data offers and apps are rated by the HAT Community Foundation, so that individuals will know if an offer or app will be taking the data away and reusing it. It’s their choice to decide whether they allow them to.

What is the goal

The goal is to create a new generation of services on the Internet running on private microservers.

How secure is the HAT

Security is at the core of the HAT and HAT Platform Providers follow industry best practices to secure the environment where HATs are provisioned. Milliner as a recognised solution for implementing security requirements provides a detailed questionnaire of the comprehensive security measures used.

Who is HATDeX

HATDeX is the technology partner for the provisioning of HAT Private ‘Microserver’ Data Accounts (HAT PMDAs) and the facilitation of on-demand, real-time personal data and content exchanges (DEX) on the HAT Platform. We built the open sourced technology to enable the provisioning of HATs by partners and also built the secure data exchange (DEX) between businesses and their customers. This is fully GDPR-compliant.

Who is HAT Community Foundation

The HAT Community Foundation (HCF) regulates the HAT ecosystem. It certifies all of the partners who want to build on HAT technology, and it runs HAT Innovation, a technology accelerator, alongside a loose consortium of partners called the HAT Foundation Group.

How do HATDeX and HCF work together

HATDeX supports sandboxes commissioned by the HAT Foundation Group partners approved by HCF. HATDeX also sells and manages the HATDeX tech suite.