Neura, a Silicon Valley-based tech company, has developed a smartphone-compatible software program that collects users' data to create a digital identity map. The software helps users in their daily activities while also securing their data.
The software, showcased at the CES 2016 in Las Vegas, offers users enhanced privacy features and total control of their own data. However, in order to provide such a service, Neura's software would require complete access to users' activities recorded on the various apps of their smartphone. Neura's CEO and representative at the CES, Gilad Meiri, told the BBC: "You should be scared. It is a radical view of privacy."
The company's smartphone software covers all of the data collected by the various installed apps on a person's phone. This includes users' location data and all internet-based interactions. Once all of the data is collected, the software proceeds to give users helpful options for their daily activities.
The BBC's tech reporter, Jane Wakefield, describes the experience as "both terrifying and enlightening". The data tracking mechanism of the software is also capable of syncing with all smart devices like tablets and wearables, further enabling it to collect users' data.
Meiri displayed the software operating on a smartphone that tracked the data of one of Neura's employees, Andrew. The software displayed data from a week in Andrew's life, tracking all his interactions and activities. Andrew had given Neura consent to collect and access his data, prior to the company attempting such a task.
Neura plans to provide an alternative model to data collecting companies like Google, offering its customers more control over handling user data.
Meiri claimed: "Our model is radically different - we take your data, transform it into knowledge that you can sell back to companies. We are like PayPal for the internet of things. We facilitate transactions, and our currency is your digital identity. It is a spy technology, but it is powered by trust."
While Neura is optimistic about offering its services to other tech firms like Google, Meiri maintained that the company has no plans to enter into a partnership with Google. Instead, Neura hopes to bring about a change in "the data economy for the internet of things" so users can own their own data.