New Mobile Data Vault App for Android Released

This post was originally published under the same title on the Personal blog, A Personal Stand.

Next 10,000 Android Users to Download both Fill It App and Data Vault Will Get Free Lifetime Subscription!

We just released a new version of our Data Vault app for Android. The iOS version will be available soon.

The updated Data Vault app is designed to be interoperable with our new Fill It mobile app – as well as with the Web versions of both Fill It (browser extension) and the Data Vault.

To celebrate the occasion, and to ask for feedback from Android developers and users, we are offering a free lifetime subscription to Personal.com (a $29.99 per year value) for the next 10,000 people to download the Fill It and Data Vault apps from Google Play.

To take advantage of this offer, please use this link to register: http://www.personal.com/login/signup_create?code=8Q7X3aWz&pipe_type=fillit

And then download both apps for Android here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Personal%2C%20Inc.&hl=en

Data you create in any of the apps will be stored securely in your private, cloud-based Data Vault, and will then be instantly synced across devices. We have also improved the user interface, and created more streamlined, intuitive options for adding data – including by using forms in Fill It.

You can search, add or edit your information and passwords on the go, even when offline. Easy touch and hold functionality allows you to copy and paste info wherever you need – e.g. Wi-Fi and passwords.

Unlike password managers and digital wallets, Personal’s Data Vault supports over 1,000 different types of reusable data, as well as encrypted photos, documents and notes:

  • • passwords & account info
  • • Wi-Fi & alarm codes
  • • personal info for you & family
  • • SSN, IDs and driver’s license
  • • travel & passports
  • • shopping & rewards programs
  • • health
  • • banking & credit cards
  • • insurance
  • • pets
  • • vehicles
  • • home & office

Please let us know what you think by tweeting to us @personal, or by sending us feedback at: https://support.personal.com/anonymous_requests/new

Thanks!

Posted in Fillit.com, Innovation, Managing data, Personal University, Personal.com, Privacy & identity, Product news for Personal | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Launch of Fill It Mobile – Making Mobile Forms and Transactions 1-Touch

This post was originally published under the same title on the Personal blog, A Personal Stand.

We are excited to announce the launch of Fill It Mobile at Google Play, with the iOS app soon to follow.

As you’ll recall, we launched the Fill It web extension earlier this summer for Chrome, Safari, Firefox and IE, which can automatically complete any Web form in what is now the world’s largest index of one-click forms — 225,000 and growing.

Today, Fill It goes mobile, allowing secure, 1-touch autofill experiences for Fill It enabled mobile apps and sites. Here’s our press release on the announcement: https://www.personal.com/s/pages/news/personal-launches-fill-it-mobile/

Fill It Mobile addresses two of the biggest areas of friction for users in mobile apps and transactions – the difficulty of completing forms on mobile devices and reusing our data across apps. It aligns perfectly with our mission to make individuals the hub or all of their own data, and solves an enormous challenge for companies and apps.

Fill It Mobile supports over 1,200 different types of data and can work on most any form, including:

  • • registrations and account creation
  • • payments of all types (including ACH and wire transfers)
  • • credit card, banking and insurance applications
  • • job applications and HR
  • • real estate and mortgage
  • • medical and health insurance
  • • government and school
  • • travel and events; and
  • • shopping and loyalty and rewards sign ups

When you see an app or company form that is enabled for Fill It Mobile, just click a button to complete and submit it (after reviewing it, of course). You’ll be able to use the data from your Data Vault to populate it and, if you’ve had to add new information to complete it, you’ll be able to save it to your Data Vault for future re-use.

Forms can also be launched and completed using QR codes. And when a paper or PDF form is still required, just print or share a PDF version of the completed form via email. You can even sign it with an e-signature app. (More on that later).

To complement the release of Fill It Mobile, we’re also releasing updates to our Data Vault apps to iTunes and Google Play, which are designed to interact seamlessly with Fill It Mobile. So now you have two reasons to go to Google Play and, soon, iTunes.

Try out Fill It Mobile and let us know what you think.

Posted in Fillit.com, Innovation, Managing data, Personal University, Personal.com, Privacy & identity, Product news for Personal | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Launching Personal University

This post was originally published under the same title on the Personal blog, A Personal Stand.

We frequently get questions about our efforts to empower individuals with data – and how to work responsibly with companies and governments to help catalyze that model. They run the gamut from the technical- and product-oriented to business, marketing, policy and legal.

While some are specific to Personal, most apply to any permission-based, user-centric, “small-data” app or company – which are starting to spring up around the globe as an alternative, sustainable way to power data-driven personalization and services (i.e., just about everything that is connected these days).

So we decided to launch Personal University to share what we’ve learned, show what we’ve built, and tell the world about what our users and partners do with Personal today.

First and foremost, we are a technology and product company. That means our best thinking is reflected in the platform, apps and code we’ve developed over the last few years.

We won’t ignore the big societal questions along the way, but we think we’ll make a greater contribution by focusing on the actual tools, infrastructure and commercial value propositions we think are necessary — and that we’ve made available through Personal — to make this model a reality.

In that spirit, we’re inaugurating Personal University with a video on the Personal Platform. Unlike most companies, we couldn’t start building apps or services for people to use without a radically new technical foundation designed around the absolute domain of the individual over the personal data and files they manage in our service – and the security and privacy of that data.

Posted in Fillit.com, Innovation, Managing data, Personal University, Personal.com, Privacy & identity | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Launching the World’s Largest Form Library at Fillit.com

This post was originally published under the same title on the Personal blog, A Personal Stand.

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We are excited to announce the launch of Fillit.com, a site dedicated to making all web and mobile forms 1-click fillable — and secure. You can read the press release here.

As of today, we have nearly 140,000 forms indexed, and are adding more than 1,500 forms daily. Each form is rated 1-4 stars depending on how well they work with autofill. We have a suite of mobile forms solutions for app and site developers, and we are introducing over 100 4 star-rated Smart Forms for most frequently used forms. We even support certain forms that are still only available in print.

Finally, we are launching a new Twitter handle for all things Fill It. We hope you will follow us there as well to keep up with our mission to use data vaults to transform how people share information with forms, companies, sites, and apps.

Posted in Fillit.com, Innovation, Managing data, Personal.com, Privacy & identity, Product news for Personal | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A New Round and Three Rock Star Board Members

This post was originally published under the same title on the Personal blog, A Personal Stand.
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I’m excited to announce that Bill Miller of Legg Mason has led a new $4.5 million round in Personal as an individual investor and will be joining Personal’s board of directors. On top of that, Esther Dyson and Jonathan Miller previously joined our board.

Bill is a legendary investor, best known perhaps as the only person to beat the S&P 500 for 15 years in a row. He has started a new streak: the Wall Street Journal survey reported last week that for four consecutive quarters in a row Bill and his Legg Mason Opportunity Trust have had the best 12 months performance of any mutual fund. His investment in CLEAR, the biometric secure identity management company known for speeding travelers through airport security, is well aligned with our mission of empowering people with the data they need to power their increasingly connected lives.

Esther is one of the most recognized angel investors and thinkers in technology today and has been a pillar in the emerging personal data ecosystem for a long time. She serves on the boards of global marketing conglomerate WPP Group, personal genetics company 23andme.com, and Meetup Inc., among others. She has focused on new business models and new markets, and does business as EDventure Holdings.

Jon is a leading digital executive, having served as chief digital officer of News Corporation, CEO of AOL, and President of Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp. He’s currently a partner with media investor Shari Redstone in Advancit. Jon also serves on the boards of TripAdvisor (since its spinoff from Expedia) and Shutterstock, and was on the board of Tumblr until its acquisition by Yahoo.

Bill, Esther and Jon join our great backers to date, including Allen & Company, Eric Semler of TCS Capital Management, Steve Case’s Revolution Ventures, Grotech Ventures, Ted Leonsis and others.

What makes this moment special is the traction we’re getting with companies and organizations that understand the dramatic impact our user-centric model can have on their own success.

The model simply doesn’t work without trust, transparency, and, yes, privacy – or what I like to call “deciding who gets to see what.” We are building a bigger carrot, not a bigger stick, one that promises to allow more data, not less, to flow and be used with explicit permission by trusted third parties. We hope to catalyze a race to the top where companies compete for the privilege of partnering with individuals and their data.

I’ll finish by reposting these three quotes from our press release. I love the story they tell:

Bill Miller: “As a long-term investor, I have no doubt that Personal is building the most rational, sustainable model for the personal data ecosystem – one centered around the individual first and foremost. The fact that it is also so beneficial for use with trusted companies and apps – including improving their bottom lines, lowering their risks and enhancing their brands – really solidified my interest in investing.”

Esther Dyson: “To me, Personal represents the sea change from business-in-charge to consumer-in-charge – but with a business model that works. It requires not just vision but also scale and execution – and the ability to show a solid value proposition to both sides of the balance of power. I’m excited to help Personal deliver on its promise.”

Jon Miller: “Businesses, marketers and developers, especially those involved with digital media, are at a critical juncture where personal data is concerned. It’s one of their most vital assets, but current practices are not likely to be sustainable – and they are less compelling in any event than the promise of individuals bringing their own data to those experiences in a safe and convenient way. I am excited to help Personal go beyond being a productivity app into this new frontier of permission-based marketing and personalization.”

Check out our press release for more information.

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Bills & Statements Now Available from 200+ Companies Using FileThis

This post was originally published under the same title on the Personal blog, A Personal Stand.

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A few weeks ago, we mentioned that we would soon offer exciting new ways to help people access, share and easily reuse information from companies with whom they do business.

Today, we are excited to announce a new partnership with FileThis to automatically deliver bills and statements from the leading banks, credit card, insurance, utility, health and retail companies directly to your Personal vault.

Watch our VIDEO to learn more

Sign up for FileThis

Enjoy the peace of mind of a constantly updated archive of your records safely synced across all your devices, and rest easy knowing that your documents will be protected with the same encryption algorithms used by banks.

It’s ideal for paying bills, searching for transactions or securely sharing with a spouse, accountant or financial planner. For a company like Amazon, receipts from literally every purchase appear in less than 24 hours, while monthly or quarterly statements appear as soon as they are ready.

Also – import passwords, career and educational information!

In addition to our partnership with FileThis, we are also officially announcing Imports, a feature that makes it easy to automatically add and update information to your vault — everything from usernames, passwords and addresses to career and financial aid history and important documents — so that it’s always at your fingertips to reuse or share.

With our new “Add Data” button, you can also import:

  • Passwords from popular password managers to easily add your usernames and passwords to Personal
  • Education & Career History from LinkedIn and the U.S. Department of Education

Whether you’re adding bills and statements, passwords or education and career history, imports makes adding information to your vault quick and easy.

Follow us on twitter (@personal) to learn about upcoming product announcements – and let us know what you think.

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What’s the Right Model for Personal Data Stores?

This post was originally published on Ctrl-SHIFT

Last week the US based personal data store Personal announced it was moving from a free to a paid for service. We caught up with co-founder and CEO Shane Green to ask him about the background.

1. What does this move from Personal suggest about the evolution of the PDS market as a whole?

I think it signals the emergence of a robust, stable business model that both consumers and companies already understand – you pay for a service or product that is valuable.

We believe the heart of the current PDS or personal data vault market opportunity is around productivity and convenience, in the vein of Evernote or Dropbox. While we see incredibly interesting VRM-type opportunities on the horizon, we have found that people immediately understand the value of a PDS if their lives are made easier and more convenient by it.

For that reason, we’ve priced our core service – $29.99 per year – at a price point that individuals are already paying for similar type services. And given the sensitive and private nature of certain data in a PDS, we have also found that people have more confidence in the privacy and security protections offered when there is a cost associated. And, of course, they don’t have the lingering suspicion about “being the product” that is being sold as can be the case with a free service.

I would add that we have also found a meaningful appetite among companies in certain verticals, such as banking, insurance, health and education, to help pay for such a service if it brings value to their customers. The fact that they are willing to pay for the service while respecting the integrity and sanctity of an individual’s control over a PDS is a huge step forward for the industry as a whole.

For more background on our announcement, please see these two links:
http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/techflash/2013/06/personalcom-is-now-charging-but-its.html?page=all http://blog.personal.com/2013/06/leaving-beta-becoming-a-paid-service/

2. What are the particular things that you think people will be prepared to pay for? (is it safe storage of my data, easy form filling etc.)

As I mentioned, it all starts with productivity and convenience that is demonstrable in their lives. Our paid service will give the user a number of benefits: secure storage of and constant access to important data, notes and files; secure sharing of this information with other people, apps and organizations; easy reuse of data through automatic form-filling; and easy imports of information and documents from companies and organizations they do business with. In addition, we will charge for additional services and benefits around security and other functionality. Stay tuned for details.

While our initial go to market partners see this as more of a value added service to offer their customers, what will take the paid service to the next level is evidence that connecting with customers via a PDS and private network can impact both their top and bottom lines.

3. It’s often said individuals are not prepared to pay for services like these. Is this conventional wisdom wrong? If so, why?

I think conventional wisdom reflected a certain reality that is changing. Quite simply, PDS services have not delivered enough tangible value to date. They have been too limited in the benefits they delivered, and most have been quite a lot of work to make useful.

But all of the hard work by the current wave of PDS providers is paying off, both because the products are delivering more value, and the macro trends could not be coming together more powerfully, whether it is the pervasiveness of smart phones in our lives, the explosion of connected devices and the data they generate, or the privacy and security discussions now dominating headlines.

Organizations like Ctrl-Shift, the World Economic Forum and the Aspen Institute have all been documenting this shift recently, including focusing on big companies and governments (such as the US and UK) that are innovating around ways to give data back to people. It all points to the fact that the concepts of data vaults and individuals gaining greater control and value over their information is becoming mainstream. Previously, people didn’t have the technology to properly leverage that information. That has changed with the emergence of a number of start-ups, including Mydex, Paoga, Qiy, Respect Network, and Personal. But this trend is not limited to start-ups. The World Economic Forum’s recent report highlighted Fortune 1000 companies that are also providing products and services that empower people with their information.

4. What areas will Personal be looking to develop with this new investment?

Our main focus is on making our PDS available when and where it is needed in a person’s life. We are super focused on the different contexts where people need data – or are creating data – and how to make the PDS seamlessly integrated while maintaining user control with privacy and security.

Ironically, many of those contexts involve companies, organizations, schools, hospitals, government agencies, apps, sites, etc. – third parties of all kinds. There is just no reason people need to manage such data interactions separately across what we call their “personal data graph.”

Just as the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement was inevitable, we believe the Bring Your Own Data movement is just an inevitable. But a BYOD world requires new kinds of permission and trust, and as that happens, I think you are going to see a wave of BYOD apps that are a magnitude better than current apps that either track us or require social data sharing. We are excited to help catalyze that ecosystem.

Note

Ctrl-Shift’s Personal Data Store report analyses the growth of the PDS market, while our Breakthrough Efficiencies research look at some of the benefits organisations can reap by linking to new personal data management services.

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