You generate a lot of data any time you’re online. This data is then used by services to either improve the user experience for you or to serve you advertisements. Many companies do provide users with access to the data that’s collected about them and it appears that Microsoft is looking to take things further. It has a new project codenamed “Bali” which will not only give users access to the data that’s collected about them but also let them monetize it.


This project is reportedly being developed by the Microsoft Research team and seems to be in private testing at this stage. The “About” page for this project describes Bali as “new personal data bank which puts users in control of all data collected about them.”

It also adds that this bank will allow users to store all data (raw and inferred) that’s generated by them and let them manage, visualize, control, share, and monetize it. The project is based on the concept of Inverse Privacy which is the subject of a 2014 paper by Yuri Gurevich, Efim Hudis and Jeannette Wing.

An item of data is said to be inversely private when the creator or user doesn’t have access to it but another party does. The Bali About page mentions that this project is currently in “initial stage.” Microsoft hasn’t said much about it right now. It’s also pertinent to mention that not every Microsoft Research project becomes a commercial product so whether or not Project Bali becomes public remains to be seen.

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