Singly, a platform that enables users control how and where their electronic personal data is used, has been launched. Singly allows users to collect information about them posted around the web and make it selectively available to third parties,.
Singly 1.0 was released to developers yesterday at at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco. It's the corporate front for the Locker Project, an open-source personal data platform, and is funded by a raft of financial backers including Toni Schneider, CEO of WordPres and John Battelle, CTO of Best Buy.
Singly and the Locker Project are the brainchild of Jeremie Miller, the inventor of the XMPP protocol used by almost all XML-based instant messaging software. created the Instant Messaging technology that almost all IM in the world today.
Miller began work on the Locker Project and Singly in February with the aim, according to Battelle, of enabling users to "start taking control of our own identity and data", because of the the "value and benefits that will accrue to us and to society in a culture that values individual control of data".
Developers will now be able to build apps that search, sort and present users' contacts, links and photos in any number of ways - but also to search the contents of links posted to those users by every other account they have subscribed to on social networking services such as Twitter.
Future plans include extending the service to collect together health and financial data for sharing.
Tech news site TheNextWeb provides a couple of screenshots to show the sorts of application we can expect: