Data Rights and Privacy Advisors was formed in the Fall of 2003 to provide advice, guidance and representation to business and individuals engaged in the collection and analysis of personal data.  The concept of ‘data mining’ is neither new nor profound.  Humans have been observing, collecting and analyzing data about each other since the dawn of time.  However, the rise of the Internet and the increasing power and sophistication of information technology and data mining tools have transformed personal data collection from a once esoteric topic into something every business and citizen needs to be aware of.  DRPA believes that polarization has taken precedence over information in the debate over personal data analysis.  For every dedicated commercial data mining advocate one can find an equally passionate personal privacy proponent.  Yet both groups have justifiable positions and strong points to make and our goal is guiding on the ethical and legal application of data mining to personal behavior. 

The fact is that personal data has a role to play in our health and safety.  Every citizen’s personal data may have to be examined to some degree for applications we all should support:  For example, if an unusual rash appears on your skin, how much information are you willing to share to help determine if that rash is some common allergen or a form of Anthrax?  How should society go about determining if that cough and chest cold you are complaining of is a seasonal malady or another SARs like outbreak.  The answer to both inquiries can only be had by collecting and analyzing aggregated human behavior. 

The Rise of The Digital You:
In the online world, everything you do leaves a trail just like footprints through the snow, a metaphor most of us know and understand.  The challenge we face is that we increasingly engage in transactions and behavior online where we don’t understand and can’t see our steps and significant amount of information we reveal.  The challenge is to become aware of and take control of the processes by which we acquire and reveal personal informaiton.  And this information is powerful and valuable and This applies to boeof, aif 1) everything in the world was covered with snow, and 2) you could not see your own footprints?  Such it is today.  Increasingly, every transaction you engage in or activity you embark upon has some digital aspect and in the wake of your transaction or activity you leave information and details about yourself.

The Value of the Digital You:
From patterns come knowledge and patterns of human behavior require the contributions of many.  Increasingly, both Madison Avenue and your public interest benefits from the analysis of the individual