Rumpel - Unlocking the Potential of Personal Online Data
It's fairly common knowledge that everyone has a kind of online fingerprint, and the more time you spend on the internet, the larger and deeper the print. From social media profiles to service subscriptions to shopping history, it's all on there somewhere. Of course, actually finding it all and bringing it together in any kind of meaningful way is very tricky.

Rumpel - a new kind of data browser developed as a part of the HAT (Hub-of-All-Things) initiative - aims to change that. HAT was set up by 6 British universities and funded generously by Research Councils UK in order to help people access all the data online which should technically be rightfully theirs already, and use it to improve their lives. Rumpel is kind of their opening salvo.

It's touted as a 'hyperdata browser', turning the data gathered and placed in your HAT profile into something you can actually interact with. You can see how much different companies know about you, enrich your data by adding personal details that only you know about, share it directly with people you know and 'flatten' it so that it's easily searchable.

The approach is designed to give you the ability to interact directly with all your personal data without the involvement of a third party. You could argue that the minds behind HAT and Rumpel are a third party in and of themselves, but really all they provide is the means to collect the data, beyond that it's completely up to you.

This kind of thing is really worth paying attention to in the current climate. On any given day you might be opening your Facebook access to any number of sites, and any amount of browsing you do will increase your online finger print, even if it's by a tiny increment. That scattered, fragmented mass of data about you has a huge amount of potential, it's just a matter of unlocking it.

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