Forrester Research predicts a “world of consumer-managed data”

Forrester Research has seen the future, and the future is "personal data management." In a new report, the prestigious research organization says that shifts in the economy will give consumers control over all of the data available about them online. This will happen mainly through the use of "personal data lockers," or individual repositories where people can store and access their data to share and sell with marketers.

Today’s data economy (which generates billions of dollars a year) is unfairly balanced in favor of marketers. Most consumers don't understand how their data is being tracked, collected and sold. Some do, but don't have the resources to protect their information.

As more consumers become aware of the significant cost associated with sharing data, they’ll dig in their heels and demand more control over their personal information. Rather than slowing the Internet economy, though, this will spur the growth of a "privacy economy," empowering consumers to engage with companies on their own terms and, with time, giving marketers even better and more actionable data.

Consumers will begin to take control of their data when doing this is convenient and offers them some demonstrable value. Reputation.com’s advances in the personal data management field — we’re currently developing a Data Privacy Vault data locker — will be a major step toward making this happen.