HIGH DEMAND FOR YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION-AND FOR YOUR ATTENTION-EXPOSES YOU TO BOTH INFORMATION OVERLOAD AND THE POTENTIAL FOR IDENTITY THEFT. A NEW PROFESSION MAY EMERGE TO HELP YOU MANAGE YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET: YOU.
From the moment we’re born, we begin to weave a network of relationships with individuals and institutions based on the information we exchange. By the time we’re adults, the accumulated information that documents the history of these relationships covers a vast network of entities that have played some role in serving us-from schools and churches to stores, banks, and government agencies.
Imagine how valuable a record of your personal information history might be if it were conveniently packaged and certified to be accurate. A service company could compile and verify comprehensive, continuously updated personal information on you (and millions of other people). This would include your complete purchase history, medical records, financial data, personal preferences, and so on-everything. This company could also be given the power to negotiate agreements granting marketers, medical researchers, law enforcement officials, and others access to your information-but only with your prior knowledge and approval. In return, this company would receive a small payment expressed as a percentage of the value that you secured for these information transactions.
Whether you find the idea of having your own personal information manager appealing or appalling, it could happen soon. Certainly, the delay and inconvenience of trying to locate accurate personal information records when we need them and protect ourselves against identity theft and other unwanted intrusions on personal privacy make personal information management an area ready for innovation. (CONTINUED…)