Friday 18 November 2011A new startup called Personal is marketing itself as a secure data vault where you can store all your private information in groups called "gems" which you can access and share.
For instance you can have a wifi gem where you can keep your wireless connection password or a dinner party gem where you can keep your food allergy information.
They market the service as a way of saving time by not having to fill in forms again and again but this not only misses the point that not all users will choose to consume the gems you have tediously created (you'll no doubt have to explain to them what on earth a gem is) but it is going to become a honeypot for hackers. Their claim is that they make your personal information simpler and more secure. I think that involving a third party company must make matters more complex and less secure.
Having said this they have attracted a lot of investment and will no doubt have a fair number of users playing with it for an evening (as long as it remains free). The rest of the world will continue to share their information with the baby sitter by printing out a sheet of instructions.